We know that gender roles – how society expects us to behave as men and women – affect every stage of our life. Recently, sociologists are exploring links between gender and climate change.
This has created a new and exciting field known as ‘Gender and Climate Change’, which looks at the impact climate change, has on men and women. This has opened up more opportunities for those interested in Gender Studies.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), men and women experience climate change differently. This is not a result of the inherent biological differences between the two sexes, but the gender roles that society thrusts on men and women.
A woman in a poor household in Jharkhand has a different experience of climate change than her husband, because of different opportunities, resources and decision-making power available to them.
Understanding gender dynamics plays a key role on providing aid to the communities affected by climate change as well as framing policies for the future.
So if you are interested in making a difference, you can opt for Gender Studies at graduate and postgraduate level.
Studying the impact of climate change on gender can help you join advocacy groups and think-tanks working for communities affected by climate change. You can also work with global agencies such as the IUCN and United Nations. Non-profit organizations and institutions also look for professionals with a background in Gender Studies. The subject can even help journalists covering environment and climate issues.
How it works
The discipline of gender studies critically examines how gender shapes our identities, our social interactions and our world. It allows students to develop a framework for thinking about power relations connected to social constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, age, and nationality through multiple perspectives and theories.
There is a growing interest in studying the relation between gender and climate change. The United Nations is advocating for more research in this area and the University of Cambridge in the U.K is currently one of the few that has already started working on it.
- Interest in social sciences
- Research skills
- Communication and writing skills
- Understanding of sociology and psychology
- Analytical and problem solving skills.
What to study?
Many universities across the world offer graduate and post graduate programmes in Gender Studies. Some universities offer Gender Studies along with Women’s Studies, while many also offer it separately. Foreign universities offer a much better diversity of subjects along with Gender Studies such as Sexuality, Law, and International Relations. Depending on your interest, you can opt for a Master of Arts (M.A.); Post Graduate Diploma (PG Diploma) and certificate courses in Gender Studies.
- The Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women Studies, Jamia Millia, New Delhi: M.A. in Women’s Studies
- Savitribai Phule Pune University: M. Phil in Gender and Women’s Studies; M.A. in Gender, Culture and Development Studies; PG Interdisciplinary Diploma in Gender, Culture and Development – One year, full time; PG Interdisciplinary Certificate Course in Women’s Studies –part time.
- Alagappa University, Bengaluru: M.A. Gender Studies; M. Phil in Women’s Studies; Ph.D in Women’s Studies; Certificate Course in Gender Studies; and PG Diploma in Gender Studies.
- University of Bristol, the U.K.: M. Sc in Gender and International Relations
- The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London: M. A. in Gender Studies, M.A. in Gender Studies and Law; M.A. in Gender and Sexuality; and M.Phil/Ph.D Gender Studies.
- University of Leeds, the U.K: M.A. Gender Studies
Picture Credit: Google