This course applies economic analysis to explain gender roles and choices faced and selected by women in different societies. Topics include: the economics of household, participation in the labor force, theories of discrimination, occupational segregation by sex, gender gap in earnings, and feminization of poverty. We discuss recent trends and statistics of gender equality and inequality in the U.S. One of the central policy questions involving economics and gender is the issue of why women earn less than men do in the market. There are a variety of explanations for this outcome, and economics can critically analyze whether discrimination alone can account for all of these differences. We also analyze a number of potential policy responses to the observed inequalities.
While we will be studying gender in a U.S. context, we will also have the chance to read and observe gender roles globally. Before each port stop in a country, we will examine gender data in addition to having specific readings from that country. While in each country, we’ll look at the role of large scale institutions, as well as small scale projects such as microfinance, in empowering women.
Field ClassCountry: Ghana
Date: September 28, 2017
This field class will visit Global Mamas, a non-profit, fair trade organization in Ghana. Global Mamas assists women in Africa to become economically independent through the production and distribution of their handcrafted products. Global Mamas creates over 180 products that are exported to North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. This class will visit a production site, visit with the Mamas, discuss the process of starting and running an NGO with the founder and Executive Director, converse with Mamas regarding how Global Mamas impacted their lives and visit the retail outlet. This inspiring field class allows students to experience fair trade and an NGO in action.
1. To comprehend the challenges that low income Ghanaian Women face on a daily basis.
2. To recognize what constitutes a micro credit / microfinance institution.
3. To understand the efforts of these institutions to combat poverty through small scale loans and/or training.
4. To evaluate the impact of small loan can make a difference and empowering women.