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PLT3380 - Gender and politics

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Maryanne Dever


Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)


This unit provides an introduction to key debates around gender and politics. Students will gain an understanding of why a gender gap in politics exists in Australia and will examine relevant international comparisons. The unit will examine how gender shapes political representation and participation, drawing on critical concepts of citizenship and nation. Key questions are: Why are women not equally represented in parliaments and politics? What effect do patterns of representation and the processes of politics have on policy outcomes?


On successful completion of this unit students should have:

  1. An understanding of the gender gap in politics in Australia and in relevant international contexts;
  2. A theoretically informed understanding of how concepts such as sex, gender and sexuality operate in the realms of politics and policy;
  3. An interdisciplinary approach to the gendered analysis of political and policy debates;
  4. Enhanced library based research skills and a working knowledge of the major databases in politics and gender studies.
  5. Enhanced ability to think critical and analytically, and to be able to articulate those thought processes in a high standard of written and oral expression.
  6. The ability to work both independently as scholars and to participate actively in group projects.
Third-year students will be expected to demonstrate greater capacity for independent research and will be required to answer a class test of a more conceptually challenging nature.


Written work: 80%
Class participation/presentation: 20%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week


For a major in politics, a first year sequence in politics; for a major in gender studies, a first year sequence in gender studies; Students may take this unit as an elective without any pre-requisite with a first year Arts sequence or the equivalent.



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