Course Title: Gender in Development

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Gender in Development

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Assoc Professor Damian Grenfell

Course Coordinator Phone: +61(0) 3995 3462

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 037.05.32A

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines the range of approaches to gender issues as they relate to the different historical periods and theories of development. It also explores the links between gender identities, sex and biology, and major areas of programming in international development including human rights, economic and social empowerment, and towards ending gender-based violence and sexual abuse.

You will explore the role of gender regarding political and social processes, the division of labour, and the prospects for human and material development. Everyday experiences from a range of sites around the globe—including the home, the ‘workplace’, the political realm are all sites — will be considered in their ‘development’ context in order to understand contemporary approaches to gender in development. You will consider masculinity and femininity as social constructs, the relationship between development and coloniality, and explore perspectives as they relate to the frequent dichotomisation of sexes between women and men and the impact of conflating that with gender identities. Power, and the attempt to create conditions for social change in a development context, will be a theme throughout the course.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

This course contributes to the development of the following program learning outcomes:

  1. Critically reflect on socio-cultural diversity and values, world systems and the benefits of local and global development practices for communities engaged in development processes 
  2. Determine and apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgement and ethical responsibility in your professional practice in international development 
  3. Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on personal awareness and lived experience, theories and practices of development, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in the discipline 
  4. Critically reflect on the causes and impacts of poverty in global contexts and to evaluate the theories and practice of development institutions 

Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  1. Critically review key debates about gender and development 
  2. Identify and analyse the role played by gender issues in the major social, political and economic transformations in developing countries 
  3. Reflect on and apply theoretical perspectives and debates to policy and practice issues in your own professional contexts 
  4. Compare and contrast the ways in which diverse theoretical perspectives lead to alternative and competing possibilities for analysis and action 

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of face to face and online activities including key readings; lectures; class activities and discussion; analysis of cases and guest lectures. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will have access to all key reading material via online resources. Each module includes key readings and other associated materials. Additional references are also provided for students wishing to follow themes in more detail. However, you are expected to research and locate further resources to enhance your learning and extend your interests in the course. 
There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment Tasks

Short writing exercise: 500 words, 10%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 1,3 

Essay: 1500 words, 30%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Report: 2000 words, 40%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Participation and collaboration: 20%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 1,3

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equity Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.