This course provides a political economy framework to understand the origins and persistence of global gender inequality. We will look at variation in gender equality indicators to systematically address how women’s socio-economic status and political power have varied across time (in historical perspective) and place (in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas). Each week is based around a set of motivating questions, which generally cover the themes: How does the sex with which you were born matter, and why? How do different forms of economic production affect the distribution of resources between men and women? What generates and sustains patriarchal power structures? We will examine a range of substantive issues that concern gender (in)equality in a wide range of societies to gauge which kinds of explanations are the most persuasive. Throughout the course, we will pay particular attention to the way gender intersects with other identities, such as race/ethnicity, gender identity and sexuality, class, and partisanship.
Course was originally listed as PS149 for the Fall 2023 semester.