Women Leaders and Transformation in Developing Countries
Home Profiles Index Course Syllabus Document Index Video Clip Index Brandeis University Home Page

Sociology 171a:

Women Leaders and Transformation in Developing Countries

Fall 1999


Course meets: Tue. & Fri. 12:00 noon - 1:30 p.m.

Instructor: Dessima M. Williams, Ph.D.
Office: Pearlman 109
Telephone: ext. 6-2641
Office hours for students: Tue. 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. and Thur. 10:00 - 12:00 noon

Attention: Students with any documented disability on record at Brandeis University, and who wish to have the appropriate accommodations made in this class should see me immediately.


CONTENTS

Intro Requirements Texts Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Mid-term Final

Links to Further Web Resources


INTRODUCTION

This course focuses on the sociological and political significance of women as national leaders in the developing countries. The number of women who have made it to the top remains very small. We define the top as heads of state and government, parliamentarians and (senior) administrators, and leaders of political parties and major organizations. These women leaders are a diverse group, and their emergence may also represent varied and interesting socio-political realities, some having to do with why is there gender imbalance in public leadership. We consider that the potential of and expectations for women's leadership, (as well as the barriers they face), amid dramatic absences of democracy, rising poverty and rapid globalization, warrants investigation.

There is a further interrogation this class will conduct: Is there any significance or pattern to the leadership of national women leaders in the developing countries today? What do they accomplish? Is there a relationship between women's and feminist organizing and the emergence of the leaders we will study? Above all, to the billions of poor of the world, 70% of whom live in the developing world and or in the economic south, do female leaders and their leadership make or promise to make a meaningful difference? How transformational is their leadership?

The challenge of this course is to connect sociological and political theory to this happening as one way to engage with issues of women's leadership, the politics of modern feminisms and other politic dynamic, and the politics and economics of change in the developing world.

A special note: Materials for this class, including syllabus, video clips and profiles on women leaders, are available on the web at <http://stanley.feldberg.brandeis.edu/~dwilliam/>. Assigned video segments must be viewed prior to the class for which they are assigned.


COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

Class attendance and in-class participation are mandatory as is completing assignments on time. A compilation of annotated profiles (25%), a mid-term (25%) and a 25-page research paper (50%) will constitute the requirements for a class grade.


TEXTS:

TEXTS

    Required:

  1. Michael A. Genovese, editor, Women as National Leaders. Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1993.
  2. Kumari Jayawardena, Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World. London: Zed Books Ltd., 1986
  3. The United Nations, The World's Women 1995: Trends and Statistics. New York, New York, 1995.
  4. Marliee Karl, Women and Empowerment: Participation and DecisionMaking. London: Zed Publishers, 1994.
  5. Alida Brull, A Rising Public Voice. ???: Feminist Press, 1999.
    Recommended:

  1. -------------- Human Development Report 1995. New York, 1995.
  2. Hilkka Pietila and Jeanne Vickers, Making Women Matter: The Role of the United Nations. London: Zed Books, 1994. (2nd) edition.
  3. Marion Fennelly Levy, Each In Her Own Way: Five Women Leaders of the Developing World. Lynne Riener, 1988.
  4. Maria Meis, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale. London: Zed Press, 1986
  5. United Nations, Challenges to the Year 2000. New York, 1991
  6. ------------- Human Development Report 1997. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  7. ------------- Women in Politics and Decision-Making in the Late Twentieth Century. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1992.
  8. Naomi Neft and A. Levine, Where Women Stand. ???: Random House, 1997.
  9. Hilhka Pietila and J. Vickers, Making Women Matter. London: Zed Press, 1994.

VIDEO (STILL NEED TO EXPAND LISTINGS)

    Required

  1. Wow! Women or More Women? (reserve)
  2. Women and the United Nations: 1975 to 1995
  3. Women Leaders Around the World - BBC (reserve)
  4. In Her Own Image (24.5 minutes)
    Recommended

  1. Kamala and Raji (India)
  2. Selbe (Senegal)
  3. Bringing It All Back Home
  4. Fourth World Conference on Women

Back to contents


COURSE OUTLINE

First day of instruction - Fri 9/3/99

PART I

Tue 9/7 - Week 1: Women's Global conditions: case for new/women's leadership?

See:

Read:

Recommended:

Assignment:


9/14 - Week 2: Historical; the International Women's Movement and the Role of the UN

Read:

Recommended:

See:


PART II

9/20 - Week 3: Women's Conceptual/theoretical Frameworks

Read:

See:

Recommended:


9/27 - Week 4: Women's Transformational Leadership (for Empowerment)

Read:

See:

Due:

Back to contents


PART III

Trail-Blazers: Bandaranaike and Ghandi

10/4 - Week 5: Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister & President of Sri Lanka, South Asia

Read:

Student presentation: Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarantanga

Assignment Due: 7-10 page analysis. See last page for details


10/11 - Week 6: Indira Ghandi, Prime Minister of India, Chair, the Non- Aligned Movement.

Read:

Student presentation: Sonia Ghandi or Phoolan Devi, 'The Bandit Queen'


People's (Movement) Choice/Patriarchy's Compromise? Aquino & Bhutto

10/18 - Week 7: Corazon Aquino, President of the Phillippines

Read:

See:

Student presentation: Imelda Marcos


10/25 - Week 8: Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan

Read:

See:

Student presentation: Bangladesh's Zia and Shiek Hasina Wajid


Motherhood (Not Womanhood) Takes the Reigns of the Nation-State

11/1 - Week 9: Mary Eugenia Charles, Prime Minister of Dominica.

Read:

See:

Student presentation: Nita Barrow (Barbados) or Ertha Pascal-Trouillot


11/8 - Week 10: Violeta Chammoro, President of Nicaragua

Read:

Recommended:

Student presentation: Rigoberto Menchu (Guatemala) Nobel Peace Prize laureate, 1992.


11/15 - Week 11: Graca Machel, First lady of Mozambique (1976-1986) and of South Africa, (1998-)

Read:

Student Presentation: Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela or Speciosa Wandera Kazibwe, Vice President of Uganda.


Transformational Leader: Self? Nation and the West(ern) 'Allies'?

11/22 - Week 12: Aung Suug Suu Kyi, Noble Peace Prize laureate, 1992

Read:

See:

Student presentation: Janet Jagan, Jenny Shipley and Jennifer Smith


11/29 - Week 13: Class conclusions and Leadership Celebration

Read:

Recommended:

Last day of instruction - 12/7/99

Assignment #3: FINAL RESEARCH PAPER; DUE DECEMBER 16, 1999

Back to contents


Mid-term:

Write a 7 - 10 page analytical paper on ONE of the following: 1: the significance of historical and structural factors in explaining the contemporary status of women; or 2: a critical review of theories of women's leadership. Use the assigned texts/source materials in answering the question. You are encouraged to go beyond them. Clear, precise cogent arguments are expected. Claims must be substantiated with data, scholarship. Formal term paper writing is the standard. Appendices may be attached.

Back to contents


Final:

Analyze the performance/tenure in office and legacy of a major woman leader from the perspective of the transformational leadership and against the background of her nation's socioeconomic conditions, national feminist and other political agenda and international development and political conditions. National political realities, including structural and other constraints and or special opportunities, must be taken into account. Must be twenty-five pages (25) of well-written text. Must include bibliography. Appendices may be attached: charts, graphs, etc.

Back to contents


Links to Further Web Resources


©1999 Dessima Williams and CIMTech at Brandeis University. All rights reserved. Further copywright and contact information available at the site index.