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Gender & Women's Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

What do Beyoncé, Lizzo, Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and Madonna have to offer feminism and gender studies? And what about Tynomi Banks, Backxwash, Peaches and Laverne Cox? Our Gender and Women’s Studies Program shows you how to critically analyze and identify intersections of gender, race, class, age, ability and sexuality as they operate in popular culture, your everyday lives, art and science, law and politics, not to mention economies, societies and cross-culturally.

Our dynamic, award-winning faculty have been leaders in the study of women and gender in Canada and internationally for three decades. Our unique courses engage in critical discussions about the significance of feminism and gender to race, sex, indigeneity, class, ability and vice versa. You will explore how the food we eat reveals the inner workings of neoliberal power and economies. You will be introduced to activism as a method that thwarts multiple and compounding forms of violence. You'll also explore contemporary issues such as COVID-19, and ask important questions about current and future impacts of COVID-19 for BIPOC folks locally and transnationally, and the role of heteronormative gender and whiteness in these outcomes.

As you study, you’ll develop skills to support you in many career paths – graduates have gone on to work in the public and private sectors in law, social work, counselling, therapy, policy and social justice, and have pursued post-graduate work and professional degrees.

In our program, you will

  • Develop the practical, theoretical, communication and organization skills to think, write, conduct research, and act critically and creatively.  
  • Understand how questions of gender, equality and sexuality have shaped and continue to shape society and our understanding of history and identity.
  • Explore the possible origins of gender differentiation, and question how gender expectations mould women and men’s development.

Hands-on experiences

  • Participate in activities organized by our two student clubs: The Sexual Education Centre at York (SECY) and Exploring Feminism Together at York (EFTY).
  • Courses offer opportunities to take on small-scale community-based research projects, such as collecting oral histories from community members. 
  • Engage in creative assignments, research projects, field trips and artists’ talks as part of your hands-on learning coursework.

I found that the Gender & Women's Studies program opened my eyes and provided tools that develop cultural competence, critical understanding and a new perspective. I have developed new interests, and a desire to find a career that can tackle sites of oppression in today's world as we continue to globalize. Personal growth is important to me and Gender & Women's Studies reminded me of how integral professional growth relies on interdisciplinary classes. My undergrad in Gender & Women's Studies was a learning journey and one that I will continue. As a mature student I learned to enjoy learning all over again!

— Nadine Condo
Alumna, Gender & Women's Studies '17

Read more testimonials from our alumni

male and female student in front of dahdaleh building on keele campus