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CreatorPro | Syllabus for 1141-ECS3021VC1141-10653 - 1141-ECS3021VC1141-10653


Women, Culture, and Economic Development





Instructor: Dr. Irma Alonso Phone: (305) 348–2317
Office: DM 316 (MMC) Fax: (305) 348-1524
Office Hours: By Appointment only, through a previously scheduled Chat session using Adobe Connect. Please be aware that I do not have an office at FIU.

This course is designated as both a Global Learning and a Core Curriculum course. It deals with economic and social issues affecting women in various countries of the world. The selected countries to be examined represent various levels of economic development and an ample array of different cultures. The purpose of this course is to assist us in understanding the differences between the situation of women in developed and in developing worlds. I will use an interdisciplinary approach to introduce you to a list of topics relevant to women, culture, and development. Basing the course on the ‘capabilities approach,’ we will study how women have been affected by the level of economic development and their culture. We will study the topics of education, health, employment, marriage, divorce, family planning, as well as domestic violence.
Each team of students will select a country with the responsibility of reporting on the status of women, in comparison to men, in that country for the different topics assigned. For these reports the students will be updating for their selected countries the data provided by Neft & Levine (1997) in Where Women Stand: An International Report on the Status of Women in 140

Countries, 1997-1998. The global perspective of the course will be achieved through active participation in class discussions. Each student will learn from other classmates as the circumstances of the different countries are compared and contrasted. Each student will submit the research reports relevant to their country, which will be followed by class discussions. To get the different cultural perspectives and to analyze how women are affected by culture, videos will be used.
The connection between human development and capabilities has been advanced through the Human Development Reports, as developed by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These reports started in 1990 influenced by ideas developed mainly by Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen. The motivation to generate these reports was to seek other indicators of human development than simply levels of income, as represented by GDP per capita. The emphasis is on people and their capabilities, as expressed not only by their levels of income, but also by been able to be educated and to live a long healthy life. Since 1990 the Human Development Reports have evolved and many more indicators have been created, in particular those dealing with the status of women, in comparison to men’s, in many countries. We use these Human Development Reports as the basis of our data because more than 150 countries are included and the same methodology is used to generate the various indicators of human development. In addition, the Reports offer a ranking of countries from ‘more developed’ to ‘less developed' in terms of the value of their human development indices.
As a core curriculum course this course also include the following two components:
1. An independent co-curricular activity of your choosing provided it addresses one or more of the Global Learning Student Learning Outcomes – activities can range from interviewing women’s rights activists, to visiting an NGO that deals with women and development, to attending a lecture series, etc.
2. The global learning common reading is Kwame Anthony Appiah, "The Case for Contamination." This is an article that appeared in the NY Times Magazine of Jan. 1, 2006, and is now part of Appiah’s book, Cosmopolitanism. During the last few days of classes this article will be discussed in class. First, you will submit a report evaluating the article. Secondly, based on this reading, each student will discuss with three classmates women’s issues learned in the course.

This course is offered fully online. The work to be performed during the semester has been divided into three modules, each of

which contains one or more activities. The due dates for each activity are specified in the relevant pages of the Content Modules. The work of this course has been divided into activities lasting few days. For each activity you will be required to submit an individual or a team report or to participate in discussion with classmates. Strict deadlines are followed and late work is not accepted. If you cannot comply with the due dates, this course is not right for you.

Through studying the course material and the submission of corresponding assignments, students will be able to:
Identify how culture affects the treatment of women in various countries. Recognize the relationship between poverty and gender.

Describe levels of economic development and how they affect gender relations. Study various indicators of human development.

Analyze aspects of gender differences in education, health, employment, marriage, divorce, family planning, and domestic violence.

Students will be able to achieve the following global learning objectives
Consider women's issues worldwide from multiple cultural perspectives: Within the context of Human Development Indicators, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the situation of women, in comparison to men, in selected countries, as they are affected by intercultural and global issues.
Analyze aspects of gender differences in aspects of education, health, employment, marriage and divorce, family planning, and domestic violence, as they are determined by cultural factors and levels of economic development: Within the context of Human Development Indicators, students will be able to compare and contrast the different conditions in which women live, in comparison to men, in selected representative countries.
Become engaged in solving local, global, international and intercultural problems, as they affect women worldwide: Within the context of the Human Development Indicators, students will share ideas on how to help countries to alleviate the situation of women.

This course fulfills your Global Learning graduation requirement. It serves as an elective in the following majors: Economics, and Women’s Studies, among others.


Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses.

One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are

expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" webpage to find out more information on this subject.

This course utilizes the following tools:
1. Adobe Connect

2. Turnitin

Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course. Please visit Blackboard's Commitment Accessibility webpage for more information.

For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

This course has a prerequisite of Principles of Economics, or instructor’s approval.
Review the Course Catalog webpage for prerequisites information.

No specific textbook is required for this course. Use will be made of Human Development Reports as well as other national and international data, as needed to complete the research reports and to guide the discussions and comparisons among countries.
Required reading:
Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 2006. 'The Case for Contamination' in NY Times Magazine, January 1.
Selected bibliography (will be indicated for each one of the relevant activities)
Charmes, J. and S. Wieringa. 2003. "Measuring Women’s Empowerment: An Assessment of the Gender Related

Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure." Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 4(3):419-

Fukuda-Parr, S. and A.K. Shiva Kumar. 2003. Readings in Human Development . New York: Oxford University Press. Gertner, J. 2010. "The Rise and Fall of the GDP." The New York Times. May 16.

Gupta, S., M. Verhoeven, and E. Tiongson. 2003. "Public Spending on Health Care and the Poor." Health Economics 12(8):

Harding, R. and L. Wantchekon. 2010. "The Political Economy of Human Development." Human Development Research

Paper 29. UNDP-HDRO, New York.
Hogan, M. et al. 2010. Maternal Mortality for 181 Countries, 1980-2008. A Systematic Analysis of Progress Towards

Millennium Development Goal 5." The Lancet 375(9726): 1509-23.

Houweling, T. et al. 2007. "High Poor-Rich Inequalities in Maternity Care: An International Comparative Study of

Maternity and Child Care in Developing Countries." Bulletin of the World Health Organization 85(10): 733-820. ILO (International Labor Office). 2010. Global Employment Trends. Geneva: International Labour Office.

IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2010. "Women in Parliaments: World and Regional Averages." Geneva. Jolly, R. et al. 2009. UN Ideas That Changed the World. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Jones, C. 2002. Introduction to Economic Growth. New York: W.W. Norton

Mosse, J.C. 1993. Half the World, Half a Chance: An Introduction to Gender and Development. UK and Ireland: Oxfam.

Neft, N. and A.D. Levine. 1997. Where Women Stand: An International Report on the Status of Women in 140

Countries. New York: Random House.
Nussbaum, M. 2000. Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Cambridge: University Press.
Osmani, S.B. 2005. "Poverty and Human Rights: Building on the Capability Approach." Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 6(2):105-19.

Ranis, G. and F. Stewart. 2000. "Strategies for Success in Human Development." Journal of Human Development 1(1):49-

. 2010. "Success and Failure in Human Development, 1970-2007."Human Development Research Paper 10. UNDP- HDRO. New York.
Robeyns, I. 2003. "Sen’s Capabilities Approach and Gender Inequality: Selecting Relevant Capabilities." Feminist

Economics 9(2-3): 61-92.
Sen, A. 2005. "Human Rights and Capabilities." Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 6(2): 155-66.
UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 2010. What Will It Take to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals ?

An International Assessment. New York.

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). 2010. The State of the World’s Children. New York.
UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women). 2010. "Who Answers To Women ? Gender and Accountability."

Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009. New York.
Vizard, P. 2006. Poverty and Human Rights: Sen’s ‘Capability Perspective’ Explored. Oxford, UK: Oxford University


This is an online course, which means all of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self- motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.
Students are expected to:
Review the how to get started information located in the course content

Introduce yourself to the class during the first week by posting a self introduction in the appropriate discussion forum

Take the practice quiz to ensure that your computer is compatible with Blackboard

Interact online with instructor/s and peers

Review and follow the course calendar

Submit assignments by the corresponding deadline

The instructor will:
Respond to messages within 48 hours (if not sooner).

Grade assignments within one week of the assignment deadline.


Communication in this course will take place via Messages.
Messages is a private and secure text-based communication system which occurs within a course among its Course members. Users must log on to Blackboard to send, receive, or read messages. The Messages tool is located on the Course Menu, on the left side of the course webpage. It is recommended that students check their messages routinely to ensure up-to-date communication.
Visit our Writing Resources webpage for more information on professional writing and technical communication skills.

Discussion Forums will be used for class discussions and other postings of general interest that are directly related to the course.
Discussions count as an integral part of your grade in this course. For each activity of Module 3 you are required to react and discuss with three of your classmates. These activities will enhance your global learning experience, as you compare the

experiences of your country with the practices followed in other countries. Just indicating “I agree with your post” or “I disagree with your point of view,” etc. will not be enough. You are expected to provide critical feedback and to contribute NEW ideas to the discussion, and provide bibliographical references, to get full credit for your discussion with classmates.

As well, for Module 4, Activity 2, you will discuss with classmates their essays on Appiah’s article.
Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.
Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

The course intends to establish foundations to compare achievements by both men and women in different countries of the world. The topics to be studied include:
1. Concepts of economic development related to the measurement of advances in well being

2. Human development indicators

3. Cultural and gender differences in terms of: education, health, employment, marriage, divorce, family planning, and violence against women

4. Cultural differences as assessed through a selection of videos to be evaluated.

5. Activities to satisfy core curriculum requirements
The representative countries selected to be analyzed in the course include:

1. Norway

10. Venezuela

19. Rwanda

2. United States

11. Colombia

20. Afghanistan

3. Qatar

12. Dominican Republic

4 Argentina

13. South Africa

5. Kuwait

14. Vietnam

6. Mexico

15. India

7. Costa Rica

16. Bangladesh

8. Iran

17. Uganda

9. Brazil

18 Haiti

Reports for Module 2:
Reports will be submitted considering the concept of the capabilities approach as well as the National Income and Product

Accounts (NIPA). The video "Who is Counting?" will be evaluated.

Using the indices of the Human Development Reports, reports will be submitted comparing your country of analysis to another representative country evaluating the status of men and women in terms of indices included in the 2013 Human Development Report: human development index, inequality-adjusted human development index, gender inequality index, and multidimensional poverty index.
Cultural differences will be studied as well through the analysis of two videos: "Community" and "Shackled Women" [beware that this video may be found offensive by some students]. This module has five activities.

Reports for Module 3:
Team Reports analyzing the status of women, in comparison to men, as well as advance and setbacks in the last 20 years, in your selected country, in terms of the topics under discussion: (1) education, (2) health, (3) employment, (4) marriage, divorce, and family planning, and violence against women. This module has four activities. Discussion with classmates is an essential part of this module to ensure we gain a global perspective of the women’s issues worldwide.
Reports for Module 4:
These are activities to satisfy core curriculum requirements, and include (1) an independent activity of your choice and (2)

writing a report on Appiah’s article, "The Case for Contamination" and discussing it with classmates.

A. The Meaning of Letter Grades.
"A" is given only for excellent work. "B" is awarded for good work.

"C" is fair or satisfactory work. "D" is given for poor work.

"F" is unsatisfactory or failing.
B. Assignment Values
Your grade will be based on your performance on the course requirements. Points are earned based on the values for each course requirement stated above. Grading Criteria are used to evaluate these activities.
C. The following grade scale will be used to determine your semester grade.


Course Requirements

Number of Items

Points for each M

aximum Usable


Activities of Module 1

Introduce Yourself




Syllabus Quiz




Activities of Module 2





Activities of Module 3





Comparison Activities




Discussion with classmates




Module 4 Activities

Independent Activity




Essay on Appiah's Article




Discussion of Appiah's Article




Maximum Total Points in the Course







300 - 288


236 - 228


287 - 273


227 - 219


272 - 264


218 - 210


263 - 255


209 - 201


254 - 246


200 - 192


245 - 237


< 191

Adobe Connect is an online meeting room where you can interact with your professor and fellow students by sharing screens, sharing files, chatting, broadcasting live audio, and taking part in other interactive online activities.
Requirements for using Adobe Connect:
Disable any window pop-up blocker.

Adobe Flash Player is required to successfully run your Adobe Connect meeting. You can test your computer to make sure your computer and network connections are properly configured to provide you with the best possible Adobe Connect meeting experience.

Use of a combination headset and microphone with USB connection is recommended to ensure quality sound and reduce technical difficulties.

Reference Adobe Connect (Tutorials & Help) to learn about the tool, how to access your meeting rooms and recordings.



Date Activities Tasks due at 12 noon
Module 1 Activity 1

Monday May 11-Thursday May 14

1. Review and fully familiarize yourself with the course and site. Print and read the course syllabus and course calendar;

2. Take the syllabus quiz;

3. Introduce yourself to the class; contact at least one of your classmates with the purpose of selecting a team member;

4. Post to the Discussion Board your team and the country your team has selected to analyze.
Review details of Module 4 Activity 1: Independent Activity due at the end of the semester

Tasks 1-4:

Due Thursday May14

Friday May 15-Monday May 18

Module 2 Activity 1
1. Studying concepts of economic growth and the capabilities approach as developed by A. Sen and M. Nussbaum.

Task 1:

Due Monday May 18

Tuesday May 19-Friday May 22

Module 2 Activity 2
1. Understanding concepts of the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), in particular: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Income (GNI).

2. Analysis of the video "Who is Counting?"

Tasks 1-2:

Due Friday May 22

Module 2 Activity 3
1. Studying the 2013 Human Development Report and writing a report on the four human development indicators in which the chosen country of analysis is compared to another country

Sunday May 23-Tuesday May 26

Human Development Index,

Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, Gender Inequality Index, and

Multidimensional Poverty Index.

2. Report the activity to be undertaken in Module 4 Activity 1

Tasks 1-2:

Due Tuesday May 26

Wednesday May 27-Saturday May 30

Module 2 Activity 4:
1. Analysis of two videos to identify cultural differences:

Shackled Women

Task 1:

Due Saturday May 30

Module 3 Activity 1

Sunday May 31-Wednesday June 3

1. Team research report on Education. Each team will present accomplishments and drawbacks in the last 20 years in the conditions of women’s education in their selected country.

Task 1:

Due Monday June 1

2. Individual discussion and comparison among countries in terms of education questions. Students will compare and contrast the situation of women’s education in their selected country with the conditions in other countries.

Task 2:

Due June 2 and June 3

Thursday June 4-Sunday June 7

Module 3 Activity 2
1. Team Research report on Health. Each team will present accomplishments and drawbacks in the last 20 years in the conditions of women’s health in their selected country.

Task 1:

Due Friday June 5

2. Individual discussion and comparison among countries in terms of health questions. Students will compare and contrast the situation of women’s health in their selected country with the conditions in other countries.

Task 2:

Due Saturday June 6 and Sunday June 7

Module 3 Activity 3

Monday June 8-

Thursday June 11 1. Team Research report on Employment. Each team will present Task 1:

accomplishment and drawbacks in the last 20 years in the conditions Due Tuesday June 9

of women’s employment in their selected country.

2. Discussion and comparison among countries in terms of employment

questions. Students will compare and contrast the situation of Task 2:

women’s employment in their selected country with the conditions in Due Wednesday June other three countries. 10 and Thursday June 11

Module 3 Activity 4
1. Team Research report on Marriage, Divorce, Family Planning, and

Domestic Violence. Each team will present accomplishment and

Friday June 12- drawbacks in the last 20 years in the conditions of women’s marriage, Task 1:

Monday June 15 divorce, family planning, and domestic violence in their selected Due Saturday June 13

Module 4 Activity 1
2. Deadline to submit report Module 4 Activity 1: Independent Activity Task 2:Due Friday June 12

3. Individual discussion and comparison among countries in terms of

aspects of Marriage, Divorce, Family Planning, and Domestic Violence. Task 3:

Students will compare and contrast the situation of women’s issues Due Sunday June 14

related to marriage, divorce, family planning and domestic violence in and Monday June 15

their selected country with the conditions in other countries.

Module 4 Activity 2
1. Evaluation of Appiah’s article on "The Case for Contamination." This Task 1:

Tuesday June 16- activity will require each student to write an essay in which the Due Thurday June 16

Friday June 19 student is going to develop the idea of up to what point it is ‘cultural Task 2:

imperialism’ for us to defend those women’s rights.

2. Students will discuss with classmates the ideas exposed on their Due Friday,June 19


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