Spring 2019 - POL 350 D100

Public Policy for Women (4)

Class Number: 6282

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Tue, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    30 units.



Examines issues where ideas about males and females either explicitly or implicitly influence policy makers. Focuses on current public policies and their relationship to women on topics such as sexuality and violence, economic security, race and inequality, and climate change. Students who have taken this topic under GSWS 320 (or WS 320) may not take this course for further credit.


In this class we will focus on the ways that gender structures the world in which we (women, men and those who identify as both or neither) live. We will examine evidence of the changes that have taken place in the status of women and the feminine (especially over the last three or four decades), and we will consider the impact of the basis and persistence of this gender binary for women, men and LGBTQ+ people. We will also discuss changes in ideas about masculinity and femininity, how they structure our ideas about sexuality, as well as the role of both public policy and women's movements in creating those changes. Based on an examination of the position of women vis-a-vis men and other gender groups around the world, we will examine whether attempts to improve sex equality and to increase sexual freedom have worked. We will also ask what possibilities there might be for public policy or private citizens to take action to improve the world.  We will consider a wide range of issues in policy and politics, including violence against women and gender-based violence more generally, reproductive rights, women and work, family law and values, poverty and dependency, women in politics, and women's movements (national and international).  For each of these issues, we will try to examine how differences and inequalities among women affect our analysis.  

Students will develop a familiarity with the main "women's issues" covered in this course and with the main policy responses associated with those issues.  They should also gain some knowledge of gender-based analysis and policy analysis.  They will develop this familiarity through assigned reading, class discussions and assignments.

There will be two 2-hour lectures each week.


  • Participation (including in-class assignments) 10%
  • 4 Quizzes/tests 40%
  • 1 Short (3-5 page) paper 15%
  • 1 group presentation 10%
  • Research Paper (10-12 pages) 25%



Women and Politics in a Global World Third Edition Sarah L. Henderson and Alana S. Jeydel Publication Date - July 2013
ISBN: 9780199899661

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.
For details, see http://www.sfu.ca/politics/undergraduate/program/related_links.html and click on “Plagiarism and Intellectual Dishonesty” .

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html