Gender and Public Policy (GPP)

Gender and Public Policy Curriculum

The Gender and Public Policy specialization seeks to integrate theory and practice.Students are strongly encouraged to participate in workshops, skills-building exercises and Capstone projects that specifically examine gender relations.

View or print the GPP Audit Form

Yasmine Ergas, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs; Director of Gender and Public Policy Specialization

Lisa Davis, Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs (part-time)

Michelle Greene, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs

Kristy Kelly, Adjunct Assistant Professor in International and Public Affairs

Sarah Kovner, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs

Eugenia McGill, Lecturer in Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Jessica Stern, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Maxine Weisgrau, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs


Students must complete a total of 9 points. Please select one 3-point course from the list of Core Courses. The remaining 6-points can be any Core Course or Pre-Approved Elective as indicated on the GPPS audit form. Other courses may be taken subject to the director’s approval. Please note that approval will depend on the inclusion of policy perspectives in work done for the course.

Core Courses

Select at least one of the following:

INAF U6143Gender, Globalization and Human Rights3
INAF U6366Gender, Inequality and Class: Changing Global Structures1.5
INAF U6368Women and Globalization1.5
INAF U6371Globalizing Reproduction: Care, Childbearing and Gender in International Perspective1.5
INAF U6372Policy and Women's Leadership1.5
INAF U6373Gender Policy Practicum1.5
INAF U6374Mainstreaming Gender in Global Affairs3
INAF U6375Gender and Livelihoods: From Displacement to Early Recovery3
INAF U6376LGBT Rights Internationally: Contemporary Issues and Fundamental Principles1.5
INAF U6381Gender Armed Conflict: Contemporary Theory and Practice for Advocates 3
INAF U8785Gender, Politics, and Development3
REGN U6639Gender and Development in Southeast Asia3


In addition to core courses above, students may take courses from the pre-approved list indicated below. Other courses may be taken subject to the director’s approval. Please note that approval will depend on the inclusion of policy perspectives in work done for the course. Pre-approved electives include courses offered at SIPA as well as through: 

Cross registration may require instructor approval. 

C&T 4032Gender Difference & Curriculum2-3
CCPJ 4030Reconsidering Gender: The Transgender Experience3
ECON GU4480Gender and Applied Economics3
HPMN P8578Money, Politics & Law: Public Health & Abortion1.5
HRTS G4400Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Human Rights3
HRTS GR5404Human Rights of Women3
INAF U6173Migration and Human Development3
ITSF 5008 Gende, Education & International Development3
LAW L6252 Family Law3
LAW L6506Gender Justice3
POPF P8260Protection of Children in Disaster and War3
POPF P8610SRH and HIV/AIDS: Clinical, Policy, and Program Perspectives3
POPF P8615Current Issues in Sexual Health3
POPF P8639Gender-based Violence in Complex Emergencies1.5
POPF P8643Maternal and Child Health in International Primary Health Care3
POPF P8645Environmental Justice Advocacy3
POPF P8665Global Perspectives on Reproductive Health3
POPF P8671Globalization of Motherhood1.5
POPF P8672Beyond Choice::Emerging Complexities in Reproductive1.5
POPF P8673Reproductive Health in Crisis 1.5
POPF P8675 Health Systems Approach to Maternal Mortality3
POPF P8694Key Issues in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health1.5
POPF P8736 Theories & Perspectives on Sexuality and Health3
SOSC P8709Seminar: Sexuality, Gender, Health Human Rights3
SUMA K4490Women in Cities: Integrating Needs, Rights, Access and Opportunity into Sustainable Urban Design, Planning and Management3
WMST GU4000Genealogies of Feminism4
WMST G6001
Other (requires approval)

GPP Courses

INAF U6143 Gender, Globalization and Human Rights. 3 Points.

Category: HRHP, GPP, USP, USP:Social, EPD, EPD:Social

Prerequisites: Students who have not taken either International Human Rights Law or International Law must obtain instructor permission to enroll

From the ‘feminization of migration' to labor market effects of trade agreements, from the recognition of rape as a war crime to the emergence of transnational advocacy movements focused on women's and LGBTQ rights, globalization is being shaped by and reshaping gender relations. Human rights norms are directly implicated in these processes. The development of global and regional institutions increases the likelihood that national policies affecting gender relations will be subject to international scrutiny. At the same time, local activists redefine international norms in terms of their own cultural and political frameworks with effects that impact general understandings. What ‘human rights' can women claim, where, how and from whom? What human rights can LGBT people claim? How can we craft effective and fair policies on the basis of the existing human rights framework?

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 26946 Yasmine Ergas W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
801 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6372 Policy and Women's Leadership. 1.5 Point.

Category: GPP, MIA/MPA: Short Course, USP, USP:Social
Spring 2017 Course Dates: Mar. 8 - Apr. 26

Despite gains in recent years, gender disparities in leadership roles – particularly in the corporate and government sectors – remain significant.  This 7-week course will explore policies within organizations, as well as governmental policies, designed to address gender disparities in leadership roles, examining questions such as: What are the goals such policies are/should be seeking to achieve? What are the best approaches – e.g. gender-focused vs. more broadly crafted policies?  Which approaches are/are not working? What are the unintended consequences of policies designed for this purpose? How do we consider debates in popular culture (from Sandberg to Slaughter) in the context of organizational and governmental policymaking and use them to inform policymaking? What are the limitations on what policy can achieve? The course will begin by briefly exploring historical and current gender disparities in leadership roles and the diverse reasons behind them, examining the roles of women, men, culture and policy.   We will explore the potential impact policy can have, identifying and recognizing limitations and challenges.  Finally, we will focus the bulk of our time on policy approaches tried by governments and organizations (with a focus on corporations, as well as academia and non-profits) to attempt to address leadership gender disparities, exploring the questions above.  The course will include accomplished women leaders from multiple sectors as guest speakers, and active student participation, including presentation of case studies, will be required.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 22096 Michelle Greene W 9:00am - 10:50am
801 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6373 Gender Policy Practicum. 1.5 Point.

Category: EPD, EPD:Social, HRHP, GPP
Spring 2017 Course Dates: March 7 - April 25

The Gender Policy Practicum creates a forum in which policy experts from different academic disciplines and fields of practice can share their experiences and perspectives with SIPA students. Through the Practicum, students will explore gender integration in various SIPA concentrations and specializations, as well as in multiple arenas of policy development and implementation. Students will be introduced to current trends and debates related to the promotion of gender equality in different fields of policy practice and will be encouraged to think critically about these issues and their relevance to their academic and professional goals.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 61529 Yasmine Ergas T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
801 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6374 Mainstreaming Gender in Global Affairs. 3 Points.

Category: HRHP, GPP, Management, USP, USP:Social, EPD, EPD:Social

This course introduces students to gender mainstreaming, gender analysis and intersectionality as theory and method, as well as the associated set of strategies, tools and skills applicable to international and public policy contexts. Through a combination of empirical research, structural theorizing, social critique, and case studies, students will become acquainted with the global dimensions of feminist organizing and policy-making necessary for working in a variety of specialty policy fields such as education, public health, international finance, sustainable development, peace and security, organizational management and economic development.

INAF U8785 Gender, Politics, and Development. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Political, EPD:Social, HRHP, GPP, IO, USP, USP:Social

Gender equality, and women’s and girls’ empowerment, are now widely accepted as development goals in their own right, and essential to inclusive and sustainable development. But despite progress in many areas, gender gaps and discrimination persist. How did gender equality move from the periphery to the center of development discourse, and what difference has this made? Is gender equality a human right, an essential aspect of human development, or “smart economics”? What are the implications of a gender equality agenda for men and boys, and for broader understandings of gender identities and sexualities? What policies, strategies and practices have been effective – or ineffective – in narrowing gender gaps and improving outcomes for both women and men in particular development settings? In this course, we approach gender, politics and development in terms of theory, policy and practice. We apply a critical gender lens to a wide range of development sectors and issue areas, including economic development, political participation, education and health, environment and climate change, and conflict and displacement. We also consider current debates and approaches related to gender mainstreaming and gender metrics in development practice. Students engage with the course material through class discussion, exercises and case studies, and the development of a gender-related project proposal.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 98146 Maxine Weisgrau, Eugenia McGill M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
801 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6366 Gender, Inequality and Class: Changing Global Structures. 1.5 Point.

Category: GPP, MIA/MPA: Short Course, EPD, EPD:Social
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

In the last half-century there have been revolutionary changes in the social structures that all previous human societies took for granted. They follow from women's greatly increased access to education and the labor market, but go well beyond this to encompass all of social life. In emerging economics, change is happening far faster than it did in the industrialized West. And one result is that different groups of women lead increasingly distinct lives. Historically, it made good sense to think of women as a ‘sisterhood' with common concerns and interests. This is less and less the case. Different groups of women follow increasingly distinct paths in terms of work, family and marriage patterns, and self-identity. Making enormous strides in the workplace are young, educated, full-time professionals who have put children on hold, and who work in occupations that are highly integrated in gender terms. But for a second group of women such a life is unattainable: instead, they work part-time, earn less, are concentrated in heavily feminized occupations like cleaning, have children young and find self-worth outside the workplace. Concern over remaining gender-related inequalities and barriers can easily divert our attention from the extent of change in both developed and emerging societies. This course will explore these new global structures and their repercussions for men and women, developed and emerging countries; and will discuss how far current trends are likely to continue.

INAF U6376 LGBT Rights Internationally: Contemporary Issues and Fundamental Principles. 1.5 Point.

Category: EPD, EPD:Social, GPP, HRHP, IO, MIA/MPA: Short Course
Spring 2017 Course Dates: Jan. 17 - Feb. 28

On September 24, 2014, a hotly contested resolution passed the UN Human Rights Council condemning discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  The protracted fight for the resolution demonstrates how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights are one of the most controversial issues in international human rights, culture, law and public policy today.  This course will explore how LGBT rights impact mainstream debates, such as bilateral relations and good governance, while also teaching students to understand the particular challenges of fulfilling LGBT rights, such as access to legal recognition for LGBT partnerships and transgender identities.  This course offers students an in-depth discussion about the challenges and opportunities of working on LGBT rights at the international level, surveys debates within the field, and equips students to competently address LGBT rights as they manifest across a range of academic and professional interests. Breaking news and contemporary debates will be integrated into the course work.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 61197 Jessica Stern T 9:00am - 10:50am
501b International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6371 Globalizing Reproduction: Care, Childbearing and Gender in International Perspective. 1.5 Point.

Category: EPD, EPD:Social, GPP, MIA/MPA: Short Course
Spring 2017 Course Dates: Jan. 17 - Feb. 28

"Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies, and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate." With these words, the new goal on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls included in the Outcome Document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014, commits the international community to recognizing the centrality of care. The new goal further entails commitments to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health -- also, within nationally set parameters - and ensure women's full and effective participation in political, economic and public life. The realization of these objectives now requires coming to terms with the globalization of reproduction. In recent decades, communication, information and reproductive technologies, changing assumptions regarding the roles of women and men, and the effects of the global economic crisis have converged to generate transnational markets in care and procreation. As people cross borders to provide or purchase goods and services associated with reproduction, new spaces are created for (licit and illicit) entrepreneurs specialized in the movement of workers, body parts, corporeal services (like gestation), and children; specialized labor forces of care workers and baby producers are generated; and resolving conflicts national legal frameworks regulating areas from citizenship and residency to health and family organization once considered the purview of nation states becomes central to the international agenda. How are such markets to be regulated? How can (and should) conflicting national models be reconciled? How, in other words, can the new SDG be translated into state and international practices which do, indeed, promote gender equality and women's empowerment? This course will focus specifically on care and childbearing to explore these questions.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 88297 Yasmine Ergas T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
801 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6381 Gender & Armed Conflict: Contemporary Theory and Practice for Advocates . 3 Points.

Category: GPP

This course will consider how gender aids us in understanding the root causes of conflict and in crafting long-term solutions to conflict. We will explore gender dimensions of human rights violations that are created and exacerbated by conflict, including torture, rape, and genocide. We will also analyze how armed actors manipulate vulnerabilities created by prevailing gender-based discrimination to achieve strategic ends. We will review critical debates on women’s relations to peace and violence, examining relevant theoretical frameworks. Additionally, we will learn about the work of local and international women’s rights activists and what male allies are doing to address these issues. We will apply theoretical perspectives on gender and conflict to concrete case studies from Syria and Iraq. This class will also explore both the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of this emerging paradigm for addressing conflict. Students will work in project teams and produce individual research and analysis of the human rights situation for women and other marginalized persons in the context of the ISIS conflict.

REGN U6639 Gender and Development in Southeast Asia. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Political, EPD:Social, Regional

This course is designed to introduce students to issues of gender and development in Southeast Asia in comparative context. Development debates are currently in flux with important implications for the practice and analysis of gender and development.  Some argue for market-driven, neo-liberal solutions to gender equality, while others believe that equitable gender relations will only come when women (and men) are empowered to understand their predicaments and work together to find local solutions to improve their lives. Empowerment and human rights approaches are popular among development practitioners, particularly those concerned with gender equity. This course uses the context of development in Southeast Asia to critically engage with issues important to development planners, national leaders and women’s groups throughout Southeast Asia.