Spring 2021 - POL 350 D100

Public Policy for Women (4)

Class Number: 5296

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM

  • 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” relative to the status of men (especially over the last three or four decades). We will also discuss changing ideas about masculinity and femininity and how they structure our ideas about sexuality, as well as the role of both public policy and feminist movements in creating those changes. Based on an examination of the position of women vis-a-vis men around the world, we will ask what possibilities there might be for public policy or private citizens to improve the world. We will consider a wide range of issues in policy and politics, including violence against women, reproductive rights, women and work, family 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, tests and assignments.

Course Format:

Synchronous lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-4:00 PM.

Asynchronous portion consists of on-line discussion boards and watching recorded presentations by the instructor and students, and occasionally other materials and activities.


  • 3 tests (15% each) 45%
  • 1 short paper (3-5 pages) 10%
  • Research Paper (Gender Policy Analysis) 25%
  • 1 Group Presentation 10%
  • Class Participation (including in-class assignments) 10%



Sarah L. Henderson and Alana S. Jeydel. 2013. Women and Politics in a Global World. (2nd Edition) New York: Oxford University Press.
ISBN: 9780199899661

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).