Spring 2024 - POL 350 D100

Public Policy for Women (4)

Class Number: 5725

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Thu, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 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 with credit for GSWS (or WS) 350 may not take this course for further credit. Students who have taken this topic under GSWS (or WS) 320 may not take this course for further credit.


Course Description:

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, and assignments.


  • 3 Quizzes/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. (3rd Edition) New York: Oxford University Press. (on sale at University Bookstore and on-reserve at the SFU library).

There are also several required readings on reserve at the University Library, posted on the canvas page or available on-line.


Anne Minas (ed.). 2000. Gender Basics: Feminist Perspectives on Women and Men. Second Edition. Belmont, Ca.: Wadsworth Press. 


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

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

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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