Gender Studies to Journalism Students: A Module

Adhikary, N. M. (Ed.). (2011). Gender studies to journalism students: A module. Jawalakhel, Lalitpur: Sancharika Samuha Nepal.

This module was launched in a program jointly organized by Sancharika Samuha Nepal and UNFPA on December 22, 2011 at Martin Chautari in Kathmandu.
The module consists of two parts:
(i) Foundation of Gender Studies to Journalism Students: A Module
(ii) Incorporating Gender into the Existing Curricula: Some Outlines
Here, the first one (Foundation of Gender Studies to Journalism Students: A Module) has been presented.

Foundation of Gender Studies to Journalism Students: A Module


‘Gender studies’ is a contemporary filed of interdisciplinary learning, which has supplied academia with new and path breaking knowledge. It focuses on critical knowledge of various aspects of society including the concept of gender thereby questioning the predominance of unequal distribution of power, rights and services in the society.
This module provides a basic introduction to the concept of gender, including gender-based violence, and aims to enable journalism students to consider the gender dimension of all ‘newsworthy’ events/situations. Moreover, it also aims to inculcate “a gender sensitive nose for news” among the students in order to highlight gender based violence and other gender issues as significant area for news reporting and other journalistic writing.

Academic Objective

To introduce journalism students to the basic concepts of gender studies, and provide introductory and critical foundation of gender perspective.

Learning Objectives

The students will
• learn key concepts related to gender studies.
• develop an understanding of gender as a social construction and of the difference between gender and sex.
• develop an understanding of how gender is related to other categories of difference in the society.
• become familiar with how social construction of gender varies within different cultures, and is influenced by spatial and temporal contexts.
• understand how language and communication, literature, visual and popular culture, politics, etc. are gendered.
• gain a better comprehension of gender stereotypes and sexism in the society around them.
• be able to identify gender based violence of various forms.
• be able to analyze how gender based discriminations result in unequal distribution of power, rights and services in the society.
• be able to apply gender analysis to everyday social phenomena.
• become more sensitive to those aspects of theories and practices that demand gender/feminist approaches and analyses.
• be able to discuss the concepts and needs of gender equity, gender equality and empowerment of women.
• understand the multiple roles of women in development.

Learning Activities

• Individual assignments and small group discussion among the students focusing on exploring the complex meaning of gender. For instance: From your perspective, what does gender mean to you? What practices do you consider to be gender-related?
• Reading assignments. For instance: Asking students to prepare bibliography of gender literature, asking them to present annotated bibliography or abstract of any 5 of them, etc.
• Observations. For instance: Assigning students to identify different forms of gender based violence of different from in the society around them.
• Monitoring the media. For instance: Assigning students to watch TV series and identify how male and female actors/actresses are shown in different roles, relationships, and situations, and assess whether there is stereotype in such representation.
• Assigning students to write papers employing gender as a means of analysis and research. For instance: Students could be assigned to observe through the daily or weekly newspapers and find out: How many images of women are published there? What roles do the women pictured appear in? How many images of men are published? In what roles are they seen? Does there seem some sort of stereotype in the representations?

Tentative Outline

1. Key Concepts in Gender Studies
Meaning and definitions of sex and gender
Terminologies used in gender: Androcentrism, Gender based violence, Gendered communication, Gender democracy, Gender discrimination, Gender equity, Gender equality, Gender identity, Gendered language, Gender power relations, Gender role (and changing gender roles), Gender socialization, Gender stereotype, Gender subordination , Feminism, Femininity/ Masculinity, Sexism, etc.

2. Socialization and Gender

Concept and structure of society and its institutions (for e.g. family)
Concept of socialization and gendered socialization
Agencies of socialization: Family, Community, School, State, Religion, Market, Media, etc.
Gender differentiation and gender stratification
Modes of gender socialization
Patriarchy and its impact on division of roles and responsibilities in the society and the family
Patriarchy and gender socialization
Gender discrimination and inequality in society
Discrimination and violence in the society from gender perspective
Femininity and physical body as a gendered and sexual site, a source of pleasure, and an object of coercion
Comparative study of gender identities, gender relations, and sexualities in different cultures and societies
Various forms of gender based violence
Feminism as the response to Patriarchy
Philosophy of Feminism and Gender: Brief account on evolution, and key champions and their perspectives

3. Gender and Development
Basic concept of development, and gender and development
Indicators of development
Concept of gender empowerment of women
Gender related development index (GDI)
Gender empowerment measure (GEM)
Women in Development Approach (WID) and Gender and Development Approach (GAD)
Multiple roles of women in development: Reproductive, Productive, Community/Social, and Constituency roles
Gender mainstreaming in development
Gender inequality at work, Gender Gap in wages
Women’s health and income
Gender perspective on economic activities
Millennium development goals (MDG) from gender perspective
Gender discrimination in the context of Nepal
Status of women in Nepal: Cultural, Social, Economic, Political, Legal
Challenges to the Nepalese women: Violence against women (VAW) and others
Women/Girls trafficking
Forms of violence against women in Nepal: Rape, Domestic Violence, Child marriage, witch –hunting, Polygamy, etc.
Discriminatory Laws in Nepal and their Impact on Women

4. Human Rights and Women’s Rights

UDHR and Women’s Rights
International Conventions and Declarations for women’s rights and gender equality
Dimensions of Women’s Rights: Education, Employment, Property, Marriage and divorce, Health and reproductive rights, Citizenship, Decision making and policy making
UN and Gender/Women’s Rights
International Year of Women and Conferences on Women
Women’s Movement: Global, regional, and national scenarios

5. Media and Gender

Patriarchy and its impact on various aspects media (for e.g., ownership, control, content)
Images of men and women in media
Role of media in behaviors change, women’s empowerment
Media contents: Gender perspective
Media, women’s representation and gender stereotypes (for e.g., issue of representing physical body as a gendered and sexual site, a source of pleasure, and an object of coercion)
Advertisements and Women
Media and VAW
Women in Media

Also read: Journalism education in the universities of Nepal: Gender perspective


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