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8766 Gender And Development

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  • Course Code: 8766
  • University: University Of Canberra
  • Country: Australia


Learning Outcome:

  • On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of key debates around gender and Development;

  • 2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role played by gender issues in the socio-economic and political transformations in the developed and developing worlds;

  • 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the theories and practice of incorporating gender in International Development;

  • 4. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the Gender policy and practice in International Development;

  • 5. Recognise the ways in which diverse theoretical perspectives lead to alternative and competing possibilities for practice and advocacy; and 


Students will pick a topic related to a gender issue in the development context in a specific geographical context, and write a persuasive essay on how this should be resolved. Your response can be a public policy focused response; an action research based response; a development intervention (through an NGO/civil society organisation) based response. You have to persuade and convince the reader, why this is most appropriate solution.

Essay writing guideline:

Take a Stance: Why you think this issue is important. Why you have chosen a particular solution to solve the issue (public policy focused response; an action research based response; a development intervention based response)

Debate ideas: You should be able to demonstrate that you understand the significance of the issue as well as the context, hence suggestion the proposed solution. Articulate and present your arguments clearly. Use facts; statistics/data; previous research (articles, policy documents, government and private sector reports including INGO/NGO reports; use the quote from experts, and meaningful examples.

Know your audience: Depending on your chosen approach - public policy; an action research; a development intervention, you should convince the audience/reader.  

Research your topic thoroughly: The purpose of a persuasive essays is to provide compelling evidence and arguments not only to support your chosen solution but also why other solutions are not suitable for resolving the identified challenge.

References: Please make sure that you use APA referencing style; check the draft for any omission of references (use URKUND DRAFT on unit canvas site to check) to ensure that all work cited are appropriately referenced. A minimum of 15 academic references are required – Journal articles; books; book chapters; reports.

Essay Structure

Introduction – Grab the attention of the reader by writing a compelling introduction on the significance of the identified challenge/issue. Provide background information and a clear statement of the problem. 

Body of the Essay – This part should consist of your arguments that support the statement of the problem. Each paragraph should focus on one particular aspect of your argument. You can write your arguments and also refuse the opposing argument in the same paragraph. Have a clear structure so that all arguments are presented in a sequence and not written as random thoughts. 

The Conclusion – Your conclusion should paraphrase/reaffirm key arguments and supporting evidence.



Gender issues are a harsh reality and are very much prevalent in the society in recent times. Gender issues usually include various aspects and also concerns that are related to the lives of both men and women and also situations in the society, the way in which both men and women interrelated and also their differences in terms of accessibility and the usage of resources, the way both the genders react to any kind of change, activities, policies and even interventions (Morgenroth & Ryan, 2018). There are various gender issues and one of the most important and challenging issue in the society is considered to be gender inequality which is still common and can be witnessed in both developed as well as developing countries. It has been seen that women have always faced discrimination in the society however, there are many countries that follow robust rules that make the lives of women a disaster (St John, 2017). This paper will focus on discrimination against women in a developing country like Libya, and provide the importance of education in the society which will help in making women participate in various environments and will also help in eradicating the issue of gender inequality from the root cause in Libya.

Discrimination against women has been seen since time immemorial and is considered to be one of the most common gender issues in the society. There are various types of gender discrimination that can be seen in Libya in terms of employment, education, violence and crimes against women. Discrimination against women in Libya has been common as it can be seen that they do not have enough freedom and of the classic examples is the inequality in the education system among the men and the women in the country. Research suggests that there are many girls who are deprived of education because of various cultural norms and even violence in the country (El Abani & Pourmehdi,2018). According to scholars, many young girls are deprived of acquiring basic education because of forced marriage at a tender age as majority of the people think that girls are born to make and look after families rather than becoming independent and later working in various professions (Carter, 2018). Thus, it can be seen that discrimination against Libya is seen at an early stage in lives.


According to scholars, the Libyan society is highly structured along various tribal lines, over 20 tribal groups and these tribal affiliations have contributed to the lack of inclusion and participation of girls in education (Hüsken, 2018). It has been seen that the tribal groups follow archaic cultural norms that restrict girls having any kind of freedom.Traditional laws and family laws maintain discriminatory stances towards the position of the women in the country which led to women facing disadvantages in the areas that concerned divorce, custody of the child, marriage and also laws against domestic as well as sexual violence (Abbott, 2017).

Women in Libya are prone to gender based discrimination and even violence in the society which leads to extreme consequences like domestic violence and sexual violence in the country. Statistics show that around 25% of women in Libya are subjected to violence wither from their husbands or other males in the society (OECD., 2020). Reports also suggest that there are many refugees in Libya who have reported routine and brutal sexual violence where abuse has often been filmed and then the films have been sent to the family and relatives of women (Wintour, 2019).

It can be seen that women in Libya face serious issues when it comes to gender disparity and discrimination of women in the society. It has been seen that these issues in terms of discrimination against women have been highlighted by the government as well as various international frameworks by the United Nations. It can be seen that the government of Libya has come up with various laws and regulations in recent times which support the progress of women and ensure that the issues in terms of discrimination are mitigated in order to ensure the human rights of women in the society. There are various laws in Libya which ban child marriage, support abortion of rape victims; women enjoy equal rights in marriage as well as divorce and many more (ESCWA., 2019). These laws have made a huge difference and change in the society of Libya however it has been seen that these laws and regulations have failed in eradicating the issue and there are many women who still face a lot of discrimination in the society.


It has been seen that Libya has introduced several laws that contribute to women gaining human rights in the society however, they have not been fruitful because policies and laws do help in restricting people from doing unethical work like performing crimes and many more however do not help in mitigating issues like allowing women to participate in political and social scenarios and also provide equality in terms of education. () states cultural values and norms often restrict the gather and is not and has been in the name

One of the major reasons for gender inequality and the different suffering of women in the Libyan society are because of the lack of awareness and education about equality, genders and many more. According to scholars, education is highly important in order to spread awareness about social issues and also to help in ending social issues like gender inequality from the root cause (Rose et al, 2017). It is important for various not-for profit organisations and the government to come up with laws and regulations that aim on coming up with campaigns that focus on incorporating education about gender studies and also provide education to the women which will pave way for women empowerment.

Education highly helps people in getting different perspectives and helps in gaining a different outlook. Kleven & Landais, (2017) states education highly helps in eradicating gender inequality in the society as it helps in elevating women in various economic, political and social environments in order to play roles that are equal to that of the men in the society. Education will help in preparing women in becoming more independent and make them capable of participating various different environments that will help women in acquiring leadership positions in different spheres in the Libyan society which will help in overcoming issues in terms of gender inequality and discrimination against women in the society.


In Libya, The Borgen Project which is national campaign is working on educating girls in order remove the barriers to gender equality in the society, this project has been collecting funds and has been encouraging young girls to study and acquire education so that they can improve the education system in Libya for girls and aims on helping girls to acquire skills and knowledge that will encourage them to participate in various political social as well as economic environments in the society (The Borgen Project., 2018). By doing this they also help in eradicating social issues like poverty by ensuring everyone becomes independent irrespective of men and women in the society and they become self-sufficient.

It has been seen that women in the society are subjected to various other kinds of discrimination like domestic and sexual violence. It has been seen that there are various laws that have been introduced to overcome the issues and has made it a punishable offence which has helped in eradicating the issue. However, reports suggest that there are many cases of domestic and sexual violence of women in Libya and also all across the globe that are not reported because of various traditional norms and culture and thus, there are no actions taken against these brutal crimes that women are being subjected to (Benuto et al, 2019). It is important that everyone in the society has knowledge about the importance of gender equality and how unethical it is to deprive someone of freedom and basic human rights in the society which can help in even men in the Libyan society give women the respect they need in order to make a better and a great society. It has been seen that various international frameworks has also been focusing on eradicating the issue of gender inequality in the society by encouraging education and spreading awareness about the existence of gender issues in the society and its importance to shape the  society in  a positive direction.

It can be seen that the United Nations has come up with a solidarity campaign named HeForShe which aims on ensuring the advancement of equality in terms of gender. According to the campaign the primary goal is to attain and achieve equality by influencing as well as encouraging all the genders present in the society to partake as the elements of change and also to take strict actions against negative behaviour and stereotypes in the society (, 2020). This campaign focuses on various issues that lead to gender discrimination in the society and are seen to address the issue and come up with suitable measures that help in educating various people who can contribute to bring a positive change in the society like educating how one can be a good husband, how one can through changing their behaviour shun the patriarchal society.

According to scholars, educating entire society about social issues and making them understand the consequences that hinder the lives of the people and also hinders the growth and development of society helps them in making a change within and starts working towards change so that issues like gender inequality and discrimination against women is eradicated completely (Thorgren, S., & Omorede, A. (2018). Education about these unethical practices will give people different perspectives and gain knowledge about the human rights and how every individual should have equal rights and opportunities in the society to have a healthy and a quality life which provides everyone with peace and happiness and also the freedom to live by one’s own rules.


Thus, it is important to first make people aware of the issues and educate the people so that they can understand the issues and make little changes through their behaviour and gestures that will slowly encourage governments to come up with strict laws and also ensure that there is no gender discrimination in the society. Unity and the efforts by all the people will help in reducing and mitigating this issue as it will encourage people to make a change in their approach. It is not only the role of women to fight for themselves and just gain education but it is important for even men in the society to be aware of the issues and be educated about these matters so that they can do their share of the work to ensure that they do not do anything which can lead to issues like domestic or sexual violence in the society. Thus, it can be seen that education is the most viable and effective measure that can help in making a positive change in the society. This is a global campaign, laws and incorporation and encouragement of education can influence people in Libya and ensure that discrimination against women is eradicated completely.

Libya faces high discrimination against women in the society due to various political, social and cultural norms that exist in the society. The existence of gender inequality is highly unethical as it violates the basic human rights of women and leads to them live in distress and restricts them to gain equal opportunities. It has been seen that inequality in terms of education, laws, participation and gender based violence is faced by Libyan women in the society which contributes to the rise in one of the major social issues and is seen to hinder the quality of life of women in the society by curbing their freedom and basic rights. Thus, in order to mitigate this issue, providing education to the people about these issues and introducing campaigns can help in encouraging people to forget archaic values that hinder gender equality and ensure every gender gets an opportunity to lead a healthy and a positive life.



Abbott, P. (2017). Gender Equality and MENA Women's Empowerment in the Aftermath of the 2011 Uprisings.

Benuto, L. T., Gonzalez, F., Casas, J., Newlands, R., & Leany, B. D. (2019). Cultural Considerations in Sexual Assault. In Handbook of Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault Prevention (pp. 55-68). Springer, Cham.

Carter, B. (2018). Girls’ educational needs in Libya.

El Abani, S., & Pourmehdi, M. (2018). Gender and educational differences in perception of domestic violence against women among Libyan migrants in Manchester. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260518760006.

ESCWA. (2019). Retrieved 8 May 2020, from (2020). HeForShe | Global Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality | HeForShe. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from


Kleven, H., & Landais, C. (2017). Gender inequality and economic development: fertility, education and norms. Economica, 84(334), 180-209.

Morgenroth, T., & Ryan, M. K. (2018). Addressing gender inequality: stumbling blocks and roads ahead.

OECD. (2020). Inequality - Violence against women - OECD Data. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from

Rose, P., Sabates, R., Alcott, B., & Ilie, I. (2017). Overcoming inequalities within countries to achieve global convergence in learning.

St John, R. B. (2017). Libya’s gender wars: the revolution within the revolution. The Journal of North African Studies, 22(5), 888-906.

The Borgen Project. (2018). Girls' Education in Libya | The Borgen Project. Retrieved 13 May 2020, from

Thorgren, S., & Omorede, A. (2018). Passionate leaders in social entrepreneurship: Exploring an African context. Business & Society, 57(3), 481-524.

Wintour, P. (2019). Refugees report brutal and routine sexual violence in Libya. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from

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