Difference Between Gender And Women’s Studies

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Difference Between Gender And Women’s Studies

difference between gender and women's studies

Both Gender and Women Studies are often used interchangeably by layman but both these disciplines have major differences and they are not one and the same thing. Women Studies came into being as a result of Second Wave Feminism while Gender Studies emerged in 1990s due to the expansion of the scope of Women Studies. Similarly the subject matter of Women Studies is women while Gender Studies discuss men, women and queer theory plus masculinity and femininity research.

Difference Between Gender And Women’s Studies

Some major differences between Gender Studies and Women Studies are given below.

 Subject Matter Of Gender And Women’s Studies:

Women Studies is older than Gender Studies. The subject matter of Women Studies is women. It not only focuses on the fuller understanding of women in society but also stresses on the need of new criteria and methods for assessing the status of women in all spheres of life.

Sex VS Gender Discussion

Gender Studies on the other hand is a broader discipline as compared to Women Studies. It discusses not only women but also study queer theory and masculinity. It is an interdisciplinary field that concentrates on the new scholarship in Women and Men Studies.

Gender Studies discuss men as equally as women where as Women Studies focuses on women for most of the time.

Defining Women And Gender Studies:

Women Studies as per US National Women’s Studies Association is “an education strategy for change”. In Women Studies, women are kept at the center while discussing the topics of health, work, politics and literature. According to Klein the subject matter of Women Studies is women but women’s lives do not exist in vacuum, they are located in a social context which includes the study of men and children as well the man-made environment.

Gender Studies is the academic study of the phenomena of gender. Gender Studies try to analyze those traits and characteristics that a person, on the basis of his gender is expected to perform. It tries to explain the position of man and woman on the basis of class, caste, religious and sexual identity in different societies.

Origin Of Women And Gender Studies:

Women Studies is a derivative of Second Wave Feminism. In 1970s feminist academics and graduate students in order to launch a discipline that keep women at its center while discussing society, politics, economy and literature developed Women Studies.

Gender Studies was developed in 1990s when academics expand the scope of Women Studies and include the study of Queer theory, masculinity research and other similar things.

In short Women Studies study women and their role in social, political, economic spheres and the various challenges that women on the basis of their sex faces while Gender Studies examines the way in which historical, cultural and social events shape the role of gender in different societies.

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