A European Comparative Course on Gender and Politics



Open and Distance Learning
ECGaP is a brand new course, financed by the Socrates programme of the European Ministry of Education, that brings together several unique features. Seven European partners have joined hands in developing a part-time course that is based on the principles of open and long distance learning. This means that this course called ECGaP gives students, politicians, policy-makers, teachers, researchers and journalists the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in this field in a way that is most appropriate to them.

Learning and teaching formats
A combination of distance and on-campus learning.
ECGaP is offered as distance and combined learning, suited for people who want to combine education with paid work, or education with care. The distance learning materials are text-books and videos. The course underlines group work, assignments, project work and tutoring. Parts of the course are self studies on the basis of literature, lectures and written assignments. To start the course all European students will gather in Dublin for a three day seminar to get to know the other students and the teachers. (For this seminar, part of the EU-funding is available).
In connection with assigments, group work and tutoring, communication between students and teachers, and between students, will preferably take place via e-mail or Internet. The students will be requested to collaborate internationally on assignments.

Back to top

Three modules
ECGaP is divided into three different modules. In each module theory and practice of gender and politics in Europe will be discussed in a fixed progression.

Module 1: Gender and the State
Module 2: Comparative Equality Policies
Module 3: Women as Agents of Change

Aims and Objectives:
It is the goal of the partners to enable the students to:
Understand political processes and political systems at the national and European level, from feminist perspectives.
Analyse power structures
Assess the efficiency of political initiatives in different political systems
Know the agents of change in (post)modern European societies (macro-economic and cultural trends, as well as micro-trends)
Know how women are, have been and can become agents of change.

Back to top

Whom are the courses suited for?
The programme is suited for employees in public and private organizations, working with equal status policies, as well as representatives for the trade unions and politicians. The programme is also suited for students interested in equal status policies in a European perspective and different understandings of gender.

What does it qualify for?
The courses provide a theoretically based and practice-oriented education in the field of European comparative equal status' and women's studies politics and policies.

Back to top

Entrance Requirements
ECGaP is offered as a study programme at an advanced level; one year of higher education is required. Studie in social or political sciences are well suited in advance. Sufficient skills of the English language is required, as all study materials and activities on international basis are in English.

Back to top

Credits, Costs and Duration
The course will be rewarded with 30 credits according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Your national coordinator can tell you how this equals with national credits.
Except for the University enrollment fees, there will be not costs charged for the course. The study-materials are for free! The videos are on loan during the course and need to be returned afterwards. The course starts with a student seminar of all the participants of the course in Dublin, Ireland, from September 21 till September 23 1997. For this meeting some extra funding can be made available for students who have no financial support otherwise. For more information and to enroll, please contact your national coordinator. For more information, please contact you national coordinator.

Back to top

Reflections on the European Comparative Course on Gender and Politics (ECGaP)

ECGaP is an interdisciplinary, culture-sensitive course on gender, on politics, on the politics of gender and on the gendering and genderdness of politics.

A broad variety of approaches will be presented to the students: postmodernist discussions of the concepts of gender, identity, multiculturalism and the female subject and political theories of women's interests, theories of the modern state, of political representation and of welfare state regimes. The course also presents more traditional approaches to the political arena, political actors and public policies. Here equality policies in the different countries as well as in the EU system will be emphasized and different tools and issues in equality policies are presented. The gendered implications of other, so-called 'gender-neutral', policies, f.i. fiscal policies is discussed.

Our target groups - femocrats, feminist bureaucrats, members of women's organizations and trade unions as well as ordinary students - are ALL agents of change. As such agents, they will need to obtain insights in the large politico-social and economical developments, such as the globalization of the economy, europeization and the information society and they need to understand the impacts of such global developments on different women's positions and living conditions. In the course, The potentials and the barriers of the information society for women will be given special attention.

As the reader can see from this short presentation, this course is a 'smorgasbord' of disciplinary traditions, approaches and perspectives; and gathers a variety of ways to understand gender and politics. It is not a coherent course and the different positions and perspectives are not always commensurable. As with a 'smorgasbord', the course provides different 'foods for thought'. The student will like some of the dishes, and dislike others. As the scholars who developed the course together, the students will have different tastes and prefer different types of food for thought. We come from different disciplines: the political sciences, philosophy, women's studies. And we come from different countries: the Scandinavian countries Norway and Sweden, one of the island countries, Ireland; the small countries in the middle of Europe; the Netherlands and Belgium, and Southern-European countries such as Italy and Spain. Our students will come from various walks of life, and from different countries.

We who developed the course 'share the differences' and agree to disagree with due respect for each others' positions and standpoints. We want to 'share differences' and hope to convey respectfullness to our students as well.

Janneke van der Ros
Research and Teaching Coordinator, Lillehammer College, Norway

Back to top