Gender Studies include a series of courses, degrees, masters… related to the gender perspective. To give an example, there is currently a degree (carrera universitaria) with this nomenclature in Spain. One of the public universities offering this degree is the UAB. (Autonomous University of Barcelona).
Before mentioning 15 good reasons to study this career, let’s answer the following questions: What are gender studies? Where do they allow you to work? Afterwards, we will explain each one of these 15 reasons, of very different origin.
What are Gender Studies?
Gender Studies, as their name suggests, are focused on addressing the gender perspective. The gender perspective, also known as the “gender approach”, includes the different mechanisms that make it possible to study how they have been culturally constructed (and socially) the “male” and “female” categories.
That is to say, how what is identified as masculine and what is identified as feminine has been constructed; this alludes to clothes, complements, professional itineraries, social categories, professions, objects, qualities, etc. This different categorization actually hides a real gender inequality that exists in all social classes and in virtually every culture in the world.
Where do they allow you to work?
Gender Studies allow you to work on public or private institutions, in companies, international organizations, associations, media, etc.etc., where the gender perspective is a central theme, to be developed and taken into account.
The title makes it possible to design and implement equality plans in these institutions, as well as to develop gender equality protocols, etc.
15 reasons to study Gender Studies
Let’s see 15 reasons to study Gender Studies, useful in case you are considering this option and you have doubts.
Gender Studies encompass a series of very new academic formations (whether official or unofficial), i.e. that have been in force for a short time.
This degree of novelty may arouse the interest of many students, since it is also related to the fact that Gender Studies constitute a very current source of knowledge, that is to say, very connected with the political and social environment of the moment. We will deal with this last reason in the next point.
In other words, in addition to being a set of new knowledge, they are also very current. In other words, the current social and political situation, both in Spain and in so many other countries, is that of a situation of struggle against gender inequalities.
These inequalities can be addressed through Gender Studies, which allow for the design of action plans to eliminate such inequalities.
Another reason to study these studies is vocation. Vocation is a passion that one feels in relation to a profession. If you feel that your vocation is gender studies, you have a very good reason to embark on this path.
Gender Studies promote values such as equality and freedom of peopleamong others. Specifically, this equality that is being promoted is between men and women. These values are very positive for society, and can connect with the previous point (vocation).
Another of the values that promote this type of study is respect for men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation or condition. If this value is part of our value system, we are also faced with another reason to initiate Gender Studies.
6. Diversity of contents
The contents provided through the Gender Studies are very diverse (whether in degree, career…).
This is how they treat each other. anthropology, language, sexuality, law, communication, identity, work, stereotypes, history, economy, education, family, etc.etc. As we can see, these are topics that belong to many areas, which give them a plus of interest to this type of training.
7. Career Opportunities
Career opportunities are also diverse. As we have seen at the beginning, with Gender Studies (the degree in particular), it is possible to work in public or private companies, public or private organizations (linked to the economic and labor world, for example), public and social policy consultancies, international organizations (for example Red Cross, United Nations, NGOs…), etc.
That is to say, the fields of work are very diverse, as it is a very multi-purpose career.
8. Helping others
If your way of being implies helping others, this career (or related studies) may also be a good option, as it will allow you to implement projects that promote gender equality, among others.
9. Dealing with people (various groups)
Very much linked to the previous reason, we have the fact of dealing with people; this is another of the things that Gender Studies allow, depending on the work environment and/or the professional outlet that we choose.
In addition, these studies make it possible to work with very diverse groups, beyond “men or women” (for example the LGTBI+ collectivelesbians, gays, transsexuals, bisexuals, intersexuals and others).
10. Type of work
The objective of Gender Studies, among others, is to train a person to learn how to design and implement policies (and protocols) that promote greater equality between men and women. This can be developed both in the public sphere (e.g. equality offices) and in the private sphere (e.g. an educational establishment).
11. Women’s empowerment
Gender Studies also empower women and foster their development as professionals. Empowerment implies that the person is aware of his or her power and capacities to face whatever he or she sets out to do.
12. Evolution of rights
Another reason to study Gender Studies is that they allow you to know how the rights of men and women have evolved, at a historical level, which provides a global vision of the situation.
13. Promotes reflection
Due to its diverse topics, and the specific knowledge that this type of studies provides, it can be said that we are before a source of reflection. That is, Gender Studies allow us to reflect on issues such as inequality, respect, laws, individual freedoms, etc.
14. Practical part
Another positive aspect of Gender Studies is that in addition to having a broad theoretical part, they also provide their practical part, which will allow the student to develop and learn methodologies for analysing reality, creating protocols and policies, etc.
Finally, another reason to study Gender Studies is that also has its own research fieldif you like research. That is to say, they will allow you to be initiated in this field so that you can acquire, promote and disseminate new knowledge related to the gender perspective and its inequalities.
De Barbieri, T. (1992): “On the category of gender. Una introducción teórica-metodológica” in ISIS Internacional N° 17, Santiago de Chile.
Scott, J.W. (1990). “El género: una categoría útil para el análisis histórico”, in J. Amelang and Mary Nash (comp.): Historia y género: las mujeres en la Europa moderna y contemporánea, Ed. Alfons el Magnanim, Barcelona.
University of Murcia. (2017). Why study (Master’s Degree in Gender and Equality). Faculty of Law.