Gender studies

Gender studies is an exciting interdisciplinary field of study that is informed by the belief that all of social life is 'gendered'. You will learn to apply innovative theory and research techniques toward understanding the ways in which our bodies are sexed, gendered and sexually oriented, as well explore how these are relevant to contemporary global debates on sexual and reproductive health and the plurality of sexualities. In this homegrown major, which has a dedicated focus on Asia, you will be introduced to a variety of feminist and queer analytical models that will assist you in developing a wide range of critical and methodological skills, and enhance your problem-solving abilities. You will also develop transferable professional skills through the workplace learning internship unit, and an ethos of gender equality and social justice that is transferable to your future career. Gender studies graduates will be equipped with the ability to approach complex issues with versatility and solution-based thinking, and well-placed to change mindsets and inform the development of diversity, inclusivity and outreach policies.

In first year, you will undertake introductory units which demonstrate how gender and sexuality studies form lenses with which to analyze everyday realities, experiences and areas of study. These include gender and the environment, gender and food studies, sexual ethics, sexual citizenship and activism, and many others. Later, you will move on to more specialized studies, which delve into the unique cultural context of Southeast Asia, feminist discourses and practices in Asia, and Asian and African masculinities. You will also explore sexual health and reproductive rights in global contexts, and learn to apply feminist and queer lenses towards analyzing how the lived realities of marginalized communities are represented by the media. You will find that the themes explored in these units often have personal resonance, aimed at action-oriented research and impact. This helps you to challenge and change everyday assumptions about bodies and sexualities that are framed by various social institutions (such as the family, the state, law, and religion).

Unit highlight:

Genders, sexualities and religions in Southeast Asia

This unit, unique to the Malaysian campus, explores the intricate ways in which genders, sexualities, and religions intersect within Southeast Asia. It foregrounds people’s lived experiences and religious diversity as key components to understanding how gender and sexuality play out in the region. You will explore issues pivoting around the family and belonging, faith and cyberspace, citizenship, the politics of inclusion/exclusion, and the common ground between a universal applicability of human rights and appreciation of local cultures and religions. Over the course of the semester, you will learn to negotiate complex issues with nuance and sensitivity, question assumptions, biases or prejudices in the media, review existing practices that lead to gender-based discrimination and violence, open up possibilities for providing solutions to a particular problem, and communicate your ideas clearly and collaboratively.

Sunita Soh

Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences (2017)

“When I signed on to the Gender studies major in Monash University Malaysia, I was hoping to gain an understanding of the world around me and my place in it, but I ended up gaining much more than expected".

Gender studies prepares you for a potential career in:

Industries and roles ranging from diversity consulting to communications and marketing, public relations, journalism, activism, and a variety of research-based positions.