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Equality in policy and practice, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Jämlikhet i policy och praktik

This syllabus is valid: 2022-08-22 and until further notice

Course code: 2KC032

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Gender Studies: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)

Revised by: Director of Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS), 2022-10-14


The course deals with gender equality as political ideal and practice and will address questions such as: How has the size and character of the welfare state influenced women's opportunities? How is gender equality understood and practised today? Knowledge of how different historical and ideological choices regarding the welfare state still influence politics today will be provided. The course will also explore the ideal of gender equality from different perspectives and specific emphasis is on examining the ways in which present day societies in general and gender equality in particular are marked by processes of colonialism, heteronormativity and neoliberalism. The course is organized around active student participation and consists of lectures, seminars and written examinations. The course is taught and examined in English.

The course is divided into three broad themes: 1) The development of the welfare state and its implications for gender equality. 2) Heteronormativity, sexuality, and gender equality3) Gender equality in policy and practice.

Expected learning outcomes

Having completed the course, the students are expected to have the ability to:

Knowledge and understanding
After the course, the student is expected to:

  • understand and explain different theories of the expansion of the welfare state and how different redistributive systems have diverse implications for gender equality.
  • understand and explain the relation between gender and sexuality in policies regarding gender equality,
  • understand and explain how gender equality can be conceptualized and filled with meaning

Skills and Abilities
After completing the course, the students shall:

  • account for and relate independently regarding policies and aspects that might influence gender equality and discuss central perspectives, dividing lines, concepts and themes that concerns gender and policy in practice 

Judgement and approach
Upon completion of the course, the student shall:

  • independently write and present an analysis of a gender equality policy 
  • independently apply relevant theories on empirical or theoretical problems related to gender equality policies

Required Knowledge

To be admitted to the course applicants must have completed three semesters of full time studies, equivalent to 90 ECTS, of which at least 15 ECTS must be an independent project or four semesters of full time studies equivalent to 120 ECTS.

English proficiency equivalent to English A/6 from Swedish Upper secondary education.

Form of instruction

The course is a full-time on-line course in English. The course is taught entirely through an electronic Learning Management System where the student takes part in lectures, mandatory assignments and other learning activities. The studies are characterized by a high degree of independent and active search for knowledge, and critical reflection, both individually and in groups.

The course focuses on active learning, i.e. putting knowledge into practice and critically reflecting upon the knowledge. Different strategies for teaching and learning will be used, such as lectures, group discussions and various forms of individual and group exercises on selected topics. To pass the course the student is expected to actively participate in all seminars and to pass the final examination

Examination modes

Examination takes place through fulfilment of two parts:
1) Mandatory assignments during the course
2) Individual written assignment.

For part 1 the grades are Fail (U) or Pass (G). For part 2, as well as for the whole course, the grades are Fail (U), Pass (G) and Pass with Distinction (VG). The grade for the whole course in based on the examination of part 2. In order to be awarded Pass for the entire course, it is necessary that all examinations and all compulsory teaching sessions have been passed. A re-sit examination can be offered at the earliest ten days and at the latest three months after publishing information about the first examination. One more examination will be offered within the next year. A student who has passed the examination is not eligible for a new examination to raise grades. The option of a re-examination based on the original course syllabus will be available for at least two years after a student registered for the course. All in all, a student is given five chances of fulfilling the course examination. A student has the right to change examiner after failing two examinations for a course module, unless there are strong arguments against this.

Other regulations

Students have the right to apply to have a previous education or experience evaluated for transfer of credits. For more
information, see: www.umu.se/utbildning/antagning/tillgodoraknande/


Valid from: 2024 week 1

Theme 1

“ The claim of economic citizenship: the concept of equality in a historical context
Carlsson Wetterberg Christina, Melby Kari
Included in:
Gender equality and welfare politics in Scandinavia
Bristol : Policy : 2008 : xi, 244 s. : pages 43-62 :

Esping-Andersen Gösta
The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism
Included in:
The welfare state
Cambridge : Polity Press in association with Blackwell : 2000 : xi, 403 s. : pages 160-174 :

Esping-Andersen Gøsta
Families in the 21st century
1. uppl. : Stockholm : SNS förlag : 2016 : 113 s. :
ISBN: 9789186949815
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: pp. 9-113

Lewis Jane
Gender and welfare regimes: further thoughts
Included in:
Social politics
Champaign, Ill. : Published by the University of Illinois Press in cooperation with the Swedish Council for Social Research : 1994- : 4 : pages 160-177 :

Theme 2

Magnusson Eva
Conflict, danger and Difference. Nordic heterosexual couples converse about gender equality and fairness.
Included in:
Critical studies of gender equalities
Göteborg ;a Stockholm : Makadam : 2008 : 223 s. : pages 161-179. (17 pages) :

Stormhoj Christel
Queering the family. Critical reflections on state regulated heteronormativity in the Scandinavian countries.
Included in:
Lambda nordica
Stockholm : Föreningen Lambda nordica : 1989- : 3-4 (8) : pages 38-56. (18 pages) :

Törnqvist M.
From threat to promise. The changing position of gender quota in the Swedish debate on women’s political representation
Included in:
Critical studies of gender equalities
Göteborg ;a Stockholm : Makadam : 2008 : 223 s. : pages 75-93 :

Policy texts will be added, approx. 50 pages.

Theme 3

Ahmed S
‘You end up doing the document rather than doing the doing’: Diversity, race equality and the politics of documentation.
Included in:
Ethnic and racial studies.
London : Routledge & Kegan Paul : 1978- : 30 : pages 590-609 :

Callerstig Anne-Charlott
Making equality work : ambiguities, conflicts and change agents in the implementation of equality policies in public sector organisations
Linköping : Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Gender Studies : 2014 : 180 s. (PDF) :
Sammanfattning och ramberättelse från Linköping University Electronic Press
Reading instructions: pp 1-50

In the business of feminism: consultants as Sweden's new gender-equality workers.
Rönnblom Malin, Olivius Elisabeth
Included in:
European Journal of Politics and Gender
2018- : 2 : pages 75-92 :

Gender Mainstreaming or Diversity Mainstreaming? The Politics of ‘Doing’
Bacchi Carol, Joan Eveline
Included in:
Stockholm : Taylor & Francis : 1993- : 17 :
Reading instructions: https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/files/16965683/FREIA_wp_70.pdf

Approaches to gender mainstreaming: What's the problem represented to be?
Bacchi Carol, Eveline Joan
Included in:
Mainstreaming politics
Adelaide, S. Aust. : University of Adelaide Press : c2010. : xviii, 368 p. :
Reading instructions: 111-138 https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/33166/560246.pdf;jsessionid=9852F129738EFE27AE90BAA7EDECD2C7?sequence=1

Administrators or critical cynics? : a study of gender equality workers in Swedish higher education
Keisu Britt-Inger, Carbin Maria
Included in:
London : Taylor & Francis : 1998- :

"What should we do instead?" : gender-equality projects and feminist critique
Sjöstedt Landén Angelika, Olofsdotter Gunilla
Included in:
Challenging the myth of gender equality in Sweden
Bristol : Policy Press : 2016 : 1 online resource (a 222 s.) :

Imagining the ideal city, planning the gender-equal city in Umeå, Sweden
Sandberg Linda, Rönnblom Malin
Routledge : 2016 :

Reference litterature

Constituting gender and gender equality through policy.
Andersson , G., & Lind E, Johansson M, Lidestav G, Lindberg M
Included in:
Equality Diversity and Inclusion - An International Journal
Bradford, England : Emerald Group Pub. :

Regional development policies and the constructions of gender equality – the Swedish case
Hudson C., Rönnblom M.
Included in:
European journal of political research
Amsterdam : Elsevier Scientific Publ. : 1973- : Vol. 1(1973)- : pages 47-68 :