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Why and Where You Should Study for a Degree in Gender and Economics

Gender and Economics is an important interdisciplinary field. Here we bring you 5 places where you can study it, and why.
BY Mehal Yadav |   28-04-2016

In the simplest terms, economics is our instinct to co-ordinate and survive. While the origin of economic thought long predates modern society, the subject has retained its androcentrism. Like the structures it seeks to understand, economics has been dominated by men.

But why? Ironically, the word economics has roots in the Ancient Greek word oikanomia, which translates to “household management.” This implies a focus on traditional roles performed by women, such as housekeeping and child-bearing. But, these were left out of the study of economics completely. Nether was this work considered valuable, nor was it accounted for, in the overall scheme of a subject which is meant to study all factors affecting distribution, production and consumption of goods and services.

As an example, when a woman remains at home to allow the man to pursue a career, and improve economic prospects for the household and the country, she is making a significant contribution. Again, activities like care-giving or housekeeping are accounted for in the Gross Domestic Product, when performed professionally, but not otherwise. Unfortunately, most economic factors that are used today to determine the progress of nation do not consider these gender differentials. Since women are the informal providers of the bulk of these services, such approaches have undervalued the roles and positions of women.

Gender equality encourages economic growth. An increased female participation in the service sector enlarges the active workforce. This is particularly important for ageing societies. As more women work, their bargaining power increases, and social stigmas weaken.

“Investing in Women’s Employment,” a report published by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) confirms this belief. It states that better employment for women can lead to increased productivity and profitability in the economy. Companies which invest in female employment are able to access new pools of talent and innovation. This evidence holds true across sectors and professions.

So, recognizing the importance of gender parity and its role in larger economic contexts has become a major academic concern. Today, an increasing number of universities are offering courses which look at economics from a gendered perspective.

  1. London School of Economics
    LSE provides a one year full time course – ‘M.Sc. Gender, Development and Globalisation.’ The course integrates gender questions with the study of globalisation and development.
  2. Colorado State University
    The Department of Economics, which calls itself a “learning community” offers undergraduate and graduate programs, which cover a wide range of economic thought, such as Political Economy, International Economics, and Development Economics.
  3. University of Nebraska – Lincoln
    They offer various Ph.D. programs, notable for their ‘blend of advanced economic theory and applied policy analysis.’ The core syllabus includes econometrics, feminist economics, international trade and development, labor economics, and public and urban economics.
  4. University of Sydney
    The university offers graduate research programs including Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy which allows students to work in a variety of disciplinary areas.
  5. University of Massachusetts Boston
    The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at UMass Boston, is inspired by feminist movements for social justice locally, nationally, and globally. They offer various courses in the field.


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navneet kumar
This very interesting article and also recommend a good source for information:
23 May 2016

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