Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Women's Studies and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that concentrates on new scholarship and looks at the different perspectives of gender and sexuality in all aspects of life.

Students explore the idea that identity is constructed through interplay of individuals and social groups and institutions— the family, peers, cultural and religious groups, the media, etc. Courses enable students to learn about the dynamic nature of gender roles and norms, sexism, and power relations.

A range of gender equity issues are now recognized as public policy issues, including gender-based violence, bullying, and workplace equity. Whether the focus is social justice, gender studies, or world cultures, the core issues include the social construction of identity, the nature and impact of power relations and diversity, and the role of personal engagement and social action.

  • You want to explore the struggle for gender equality in politics, education, the family, the labour force, and the media
  • You want to use knowledge to dismantle the inequalities present in society

Our students benefit from the analytical and communication skills developed in the women’s rights and men’s movements for social change. Analytical and communication skills apply to work environments where social policy is addressed and social science or humanities research skills are required, such as in social work, law, government research, e.g., Statistics Canada, and especially in educational counselling, and teaching. With the need for greater awareness around sexual harassment/abuse in workplaces and schools, including cyber-intimidation, the critical self-examination this field engenders is a central skill that managers and administrators are required to develop.

Graduates from this program are prepared for professional jobs in education, social work, law, and management pertaining to an individual’s right to live, work, and study in an environment free of intimidation, discrimination, or harm. Post-secondary education and research is also a popular path for graduates. Even software companies hire graduates with these backgrounds to prepare modules in education, management, and government that reflect current issues and research.

Many courses within the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies program are concentrated in Sociology and Psychology, but Economics, Gerontology, Science and Technology Studies, and Criminology courses focus on women’s and gender related themes, as well.