Thursday, November 27, 2008

Definitions of Gender studies

Definitions of Gender studies:

Gender studies is a theoretical work in the social sciences or humanities that focuses on issues of sex and gender in language and society, and often addresses related issues including racial and ethnic oppression, postcolonial societies, and globalization.

Definitions of Women’s Studies:

Women's studies are an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to topics concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics. It often includes feminist theory, women's history (e.g. history of women's suffrage) and social history, women's literature, women's health, and the feminist and gender studies-influenced practice of most of the humanities and social sciences.

Difference between Women’ Studies and Gender Studies:

There is a difference between "women's studies" and "gender studies." Both terms have some advantages and some disadvantages. "Women's Studies" brought attention to women and their contributions and oppression. Women's studies has the advantage of focusing on women this allows the examination of some "unique" biological and reproductive factors such as menstruation, childbirth, etc. in terms of their meaning to the individual and society. Gender studies allow looking at gender as a verb in terms of the interpersonal and societal practices that create or construct women's and men's behavior.

Sex/gender distinction:

Gender refers to social relations between men and women, girls and boys defined by cultural values, mores and norms. The relations between women and men, girls and boys vary in different cultures. Some are more empowering than others. Some provide women and girls equal opportunities with men and boys to education, health services and gainful employment. Other deprive women and girls such opportunities.

Sex on the other hand refers to biologically determined differences such as physical attributes that equip women to give birth and breastfeed babies. There is nothing however in the physical make-up of women that makes then more fit than men to cook, wash, iron clean the house etc. The men can do these tasks as well. Conversely, there is nothing in the biological make-up of men that makes them better suited than women to go to school, earn a living, run for office and rule a country. It is culture that provides opportunities or imposes barriers to gender equality.


Gender studies are certainly closely related to women's studies. Gender and particularly the role of women are widely recognized as vitally important to international development issues. As we have discussed above the differences between gender studies and women studies. What I conclude that both studies are deeply interlink. Women Studies particularly related to women issues, exploitations, concerns, suppressions and their rights and in gender we talk about all the human races.

I myself interested in learning the issues of how gender affects people and want to examine both women’s and men’s experiences. It is natural that woman without man cannot survive. They depend on each other. To generate the balance between both genders we should study gender studies. By studying and teaching this subject we can emphasize on the common rights of gender, their needs, and their responsibilities. By studying women studies particularly the, stress will be on women issues and their problems whether in studying genders we can conclude the social, cultural, mental and religious behavior and can bring the positive changes in social behaviors and attitudes. Women as well as men both would realize their duties, rights, responsibilities. So gender studies have wider range of learning and teaching.

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