SOAS University of London

Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)

Gender and Social Inequality (30 credits)

30 credits

This module provides an overview of the major contemporary issues in gender and social inequality, which cut across all areas of policy and development practice in both the developed and developing world. The module examines definitions, concepts and theories of sex, gender and identity; it examines the historical emergence and evolution of various types of feminism; and it examines the ways in which gender inequality can be addressed - and sustainable development promoted - through policy and in practice.

The themes explored in this module are applied to a variety of gender-related issues, including the tasks of promoting gender mainstreaming and more equitable forms of representation and participation, reducing gender-based violence, and finding gender-equitable responses to the challenges of climate change and persistent - and in some cases widening - health inequalities.


Students are advised to dedicate 15 - 20 hours study time per week for this module.

Scope and syllabus

The module comprises 15 units:

  1. Introduction to gender
  2. Examining concepts of gender
  3. Feminism in historical context
  4. Approaches to gender and inequality
  5. Contemporary patterns of gender inequity
  6. Gender mainstreaming and organisational change
  7. Gender, development and social change
  8. Gender, participation and representation
  9. Gender, culture and religion
  10. Gender-based violence and conflict
  11. Gender, biodiversity and conservation
  12. Gender and climate change
  13. Gender, health and disease
  14. Gender in the age of sustainable development
  15. Radical approaches to gender and social inequality

Suggested reading

This module is assessed by:

  • a 3000-word examined assignment (EA), with an element of online interaction and discussion, worth 40%
  • a two-hour written examination worth 60%.

Since the EA is an element of the formal examination process, please note the following:

  • The EA questions and submission date will be available on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
  • The EA is submitted by uploading it to the VLE.
  • The EA is marked by the module tutor and students will receive a percentage mark and feedback.
  • Answers submitted must be entirely the student’s own work and not a product of collaboration.
  • Plagiarism is a breach of regulations. To ensure compliance with the specific University of London regulations, all students are advised to read the guidelines on referencing the work of other people. For more detailed information, see the FAQ on the VLE.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules