This course examines both the local, national, and international obstacles to women and development and the types of initiatives that support development. Barriers to development include gender discrimination and its connections to globalization, poverty, economics, politics, education, religion, laws, patriarchy, and customs and traditions. Other obstacles are sex and labor trafficking, slavery, and sex tourism; preference for male children, gender disparities at birth, and gender selection abortion; exclusion from land ownership; violence against women as a weapon in conflict zones; customary practices harmful to women, including female genital mutilation, “honor” killings, and dowry; rape and other sexual violence; family violence; mail-order brides and child marriage; and other forms of legal, ethnic, cultural, political, social, economic, and religious discrimination that impede women’s progress. We will also evaluate international, national, legal, and NGO responses designed to promote women and development; empower women economically; and reduce gender violence and discrimination, such as political and economic empowerment programs, micro-finance, women’s cooperatives, and female-quota and other anti-discrimination laws. This course will rely on port countries as case studies.
Field WorkCountry: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: February 20, 2019
In this Field Class, we will attend a panel presentation made of representatives in Myanmar of several prominent international organizations working on issues relating to advancing women and development, including for minority women, in Myanmar. This gender panel will be held at the Parami Institute (see description below), an English language science and liberal arts college, where we will be joined by Myanmar college students who attend Parami. The panelists will talk about the projects, incentives, and work each organization does to promote women and development in Myanmar. We will next have lunch with our morning panelists and with the Myanmar college students, and, at lunch, we will continue our discussion of gender issues. In the afternoon, we will visit with Hla Day, a local non-profit business that trains artisans, many of whom are women, in design and business skills and markets their products. Ulla Kroeber of Hla Day will explain their program, goals, successes, strategies, and business model and talk about their work on particular issues important to artisans who are disabled, poor, or excluded in Myanmar.
1. Learn more about the current status of women in Myanmar now, including minority women, possible solutions, and what is being done to support these women.
2. Gain a deeper understanding from the international view of women and development issues in general in Myanmar and programs to address problems and create opportunities.
3. Learn about the work of a local non-profit business to advance the development of women and others marginalized in Myanmar, the obstacles to development, and challenges and successes.