The GEST programme aims to enhance an understanding of the structures and mechanisms that need to be in place to promote gender equality in global and local contexts. The programme emphasizes critical thinking skills and aims to equip fellows with the essential analytical tools for understanding gender equality and its impacts on social development and public policy. The teaching methods employ an interactive approach, with an emphasis on transnational dialogue, cultural difference, and social diversity. Fellows and instructors are encouraged to develop a sense of how meaning is transformed when travelling from one culture to another.

The main objectives are to develop:

  • The capacity of professionals and organizations working to advance gender equality in developing, conflict and post-conflict societies.
  • An understanding of the main issues in international gender equality studies and how they apply to different cultures, and how they intersect with ethnicity, sexuality, religion, race and class. 
  • Skills in gender analysis and in dissemination of knowledge about gender equality methods.
  • The capacity to engage in critical and transnational dialogue on gender equality issues.
  • An ability to organize and manage projects focusing on gender equality.
  • A sense of the individual’s social and geographic location, and of how meanings of main concepts and practices are changed through transnational transfers and dialogues.

The programme consists of six modules, equivalent to a total of 30 ECTS. The following modules are offered in 2023:

Theories and Concepts of Gender (3 ECTS)

The purpose of this module is to introduce fellows to basic theories and concepts in gender studies in order to develop transnational understandings of established feminist theoretical traditions as well more recent feminist conceptualizing of global gender politics.

Through a combination of readings, lectures and in-depth class discussion, fellows will consider how unjust politics and constructions of gender and sexuality might be changed through transnational transfers and dialogues. Fellows will explore gender equality/justice for suppressed minority and oppressed groups from historical, intersectional, trans-national, and human rights perspectives. Discussion will centre on how the issues, ideas, and debates engaged in by feminist theorists play out in specific contexts, particularly the contexts of “developing” nations, post-colonial, and conflict/post-conflict societies. Fellows will be encouraged to think about and mentally map the differences (ethnic, racial, class, etc.) that matter in the societies and organizations they come from; they will reflect on the meanings and significance of these internal social differences and political struggles as viewed from global and transnational feminist theoretical perspectives. They will be asked to consider and apply the transnational feminist theoretical concepts they read about to those gender justice movements they are familiar with as well as those they will learn about from their peers; and in particular to consider the roles played by civil institutions, NGOs, leaders, grassroots organizers, and advocates for women and sexual minorities. Through close, critical reading and intensive dialogue with one another, fellows will be encouraged to develop theoretically informed views and transnational feminist perspectives.  

Project Development Tools (6 ECTS)

This module is designed to encourage discussion on the connections between gender and development, its theory, policy and practice. Students will explore the entanglements of gender (regimes) and various aspects of social change and learn how to use a critical theoretical approach to analyse contemporary processes of development. They will increase their understanding of the different configurations of inequality and how they impact projects’ effectiveness and outcomes.

Through a combination of lectures, exercises, group discussions and written assignments, students will be equipped with tools for gender analysis and integration of gender equality concerns and principles into programmes, operations and reporting. They will learn about project management, logical framework approach, public policy, gender mainstreaming, issue and community-based advocacy, and gender responsive budgeting. The course will be conducted in a highly participatory environment.

Gender, Violence and Security (5 ECTS)

The aim of the course is to increase the fellows’ ability to understand, discuss, and convey knowledge of gender dimensions of security, especially with regard to international legal obligations, UNSC resolutions, security sector reform and emergency operations, but also in the context of sexual harassment and violence at the workplace, policies, and legal structures. It examines, among other things, the concept of human security versus national security and the role of women in conflicts, peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction, as well as gender-based violence and sexual violence, both as a tactic of warfare as well as a presence in the everyday lives of women and non-binary gendered people. National Action Plans will be of special focus.

Gender, Labour and Migration (5 ECTS)

This module will introduce students to the concepts connected to various types of migration. Students will get a fuller view of migration as it intersects with labor and gender by looking at international agreements and treaties, national laws and policies, and local responses to migration. The module will also cover global economic imbalances that lead to migration, as well as migration due to conflict and environmental degradation. How migration differentially impacts men and women will also be discussed in light of current theories, research, and agreements. Concepts and theories of comparative law will be discussed as they relate to migration, jurisdiction, gender, and labor. Finally, the course will cover immigration enforcement and its economic impact on migrant men and women.

Gender, Environment and Climate Change (5 ECTS)

The purpose of this module is to examine the role of gender in the context of environment with a focus on climate change. This module will analyze the transformative potential of gender equality to advance environmental sustainability as well as resilience, vulnerability, mitigation and adaptation to global environmental change. Furthermore, the module outlines the main international commitments in regards to environment and climate change and suggests gender sensitive actions. Through the combination of readings, documentaries and lectures, fellows will understand the impact of climate change on gender, both in rural and urban environment as well as in different geographical contexts. The fellows will be equipped to provide examples of international commitments as well as possible everyday actions to enhance sustainable operations.

Final Assignment (6 ECTS)

Fellows work on an assignment of their choice throughout the duration of the programme under the supervision of expert supervisors. Each fellow is assigned a final assignment supervisor, who is an expert in the field in which the fellow is writing. Supervisors will work with respective fellows to offer direction on the final assignment throughout the semester. The purpose of the final assignment is for fellows to reflect on some of the theories, methods, and skills studied during the programme, to consider when these would be appropriate and to apply them in a practical or research context. The topic should be integrative, relate to the content of the programme, and have relevance for gender equality issues in the fellow’s home country. The assignment may be an essay addressing a specific gender problem and identifying strategies and suggestions to counter it, a project proposal that outlines all the necessary steps and activities needed to solve a problem and implement a project, a research proposal, or in another form in consultation with the module coordinator and the fellow’s supervisor(s). By the end of the semester, the fellows present the design and findings of their assignments at an open seminar organized by GEST. As a part of this module, fellows attend sessions on academic writing, reference systems for literature review and research, introduction to the university library, professional development, and how to deliver professional presentations. The final assignment must be of benefit to the candidate‘s current organization and the population it serves.