Not available in 2020/21
GI418      Half Unit
Feminist Economics and Policy: An Introduction

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Naila Kabeer and Prof Diane Perrons


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities and MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

There will be 30 places available on this course.


The course is run by the Department of Gender Studies – an interdisciplinary department. One of the key objectives is to bring a multi-perspectival approach to understanding of economic processes. As economic processes have a profound influence on social life, gender relations and gender equality, and vice versa, this course seeks to expose students interested in gender to the work of Feminist Economists.

An interest in gender issues is essential and undergraduate level course in economics would be an advantage.


Course content

Recent decades have seen the emergence of gender equality as a key policy concern and Feminist Economics as a sub discipline. The purpose of the course is to engage with the theoretical foundations and intellectual contributions of Feminist Economics and  to develop an analytical understandings of gender issues with respect to economic processes and policies operating at macro and micro levels. At the macro level, the course explores the implications of contemporary economic and financial governance from a gender perspective, the gender bias in macroeconomic analyses, and the gendered impact of austerity policies. At the micro level, the course analyses the gender dynamics of household and labour market inequalities, engages with the economic foundations and explanations of gender inequality within employment and within the household, focusing on wage and productivity differences and the gender division between ‘productive’ and ‘reproductive’ work. Attention to gender as economically significant marker of identity is contextualised, where possible, in relation to race, social class, sexuality and migrant status. Attention is also given to the way in which individual well-being is influenced by the level of development and transnational trade relations. Accordingly, the course seeks to bridge the macro-micro divide by drawing together the gendered critique of existing biases in economic thinking and to provide an analytical foundation for alternative approaches to policies that aim to contribute towards securing sustainable development and gender equal well-being.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Essay (2000 words) in the LT.


Indicative reading

• Bargawi, H.,  Cozzi, G and  Himmelweit, R. (2017) Economics and Austerity in Europe   Gendered impacts and sustainable alternatives.

• Berik,G., Rodgers,Y. and Seguino S. (2011) Inequality, Development, and Growth.

• Ferber, M. and Nelson, J. (2003) Feminist Economics Today Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics.

• Folbre, N. (2009) Greed, Lust and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas.

• Folbre, N. and Bittman, M. (2004) Family Time: The Social Organization of Care.

• Karamessini,M and Rubery, J. (2014) Women and Austerity The Economic Crisis and the Future for Gender Equality.

• Nelson, J. (2006) Economics for Humans.

• Nussbaum, M (2011) Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach.

• Pearson, R. (2013) Women, Work and Gender Justice in the Global Economy.

• Pujol, M. (1992) Feminism and Anti-Feminism in Early Economic Thought.

• Sen, A (2010) The Idea of Justice.

• Staveren,I, Elson, D.,Grown, C and Cagatay, N (2007) The Feminist Economics of Trade.

• Young, B., Bakker,I. and Elson, D. (2011) Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 36.4
Merit 45.7
Pass 17.9
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Controlled access 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills