GS40030 Gender, Inequality and Public Policy

Academic Year 2024/2025

Public policies will be explored in this course from a gender-sensitive perspective. We will focus on policies towards employment, gender pay gap, occupational segregation, poverty, provision of care, but also environment and sports. Feminist and gender theory and debate on social policy, on concepts of care, exclusion and citizenship will be explored. This course will provide an opportunity to look closely at the huge changes which have taken place over the last twenty years in the economic and social situation of Irish women, the institutional framework within which those changes have occurred and the impact of the current economic crisis. In particular, comparative policies and practices towards gender equality will be examined, and the way in which those policies impact on the lives and situations of different sectors of women and men in contemporary societies.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:1. Show knowledge and understanding of the key elements of current Irish economic and social policy in relation to employment, welfare and care.2. Display an understanding of the impact of current policies on the situation and position of different sectors of women and men in Ireland.3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of different perspectives within feminist, gender and social theory on concepts of exclusion, citizenship, equality, care and economic activity.4. Show an ability to critically analyse Irish public policy in an EU context.5. Write a scholarly essay which is appropriate for Level 4 students.

Indicative Module Content:

Changing Policy Context – Introductory class
Feminist Perspectives on Welfare and Care: paid and unpaid work
Varieties of care regimes in Europe
Social investment
The meaning of public discourse. Feminist perspectives on poverty
Securitising Gender Policy
Gender and politics 1: Gender quota and strategies of female politicians.
Gender and politics 2: Right-Wing Populism and anti-gender campaigns.
Gender and sustainability, environmental politics
Same-sex marriages/civil partnerships/families of choice
Sports: policies, politics and gender

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The approach to teaching will be dialogical with a strong emphasis on student participation, discussion, and engagement. Students will be required to read selected book chapters, journal articles etc before each lecture. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Gender, Inequality and Policy (WS40150)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Group presentation - feedback will be given on completion of this element. Final Essay - students will receive individual feedback following the submission of their essays at the end of the term.

Name Role
Dr Carol Ballantine Lecturer / Co-Lecturer