Gender is important to Caribbean culture, history and theology. This course expands knowledge and skills in understanding the links between gender, culture, history and theology which can improve human relations and support development in many disciplines and sectors. Religion is the more quotidian term, with which we may be familiar rather than theology. Religion involves beliefs about God and humankind and their relationship, which can be studied but it is more than a set of beliefs. The emphasis is on action as the term refers to attitudes and behaviour people have based on the beliefs.. Theology on the other hand is the systematic organization of the beliefs about God in a theoretical sense. It is a theory about God. No action is implied or required.T
The course challenges traditional notions of ‘natural’ gender hierarchies that have been used to justify inequalities in the lived experiences of both women and men. These have been supported by culture, history and religion and the theologies on which the main religions of the region are based. It is part of the discipline of Gender and Development Studies which emerged from Women’s Studies and the Women’s Movement, but has expanded to include Men’s Studies and a Men’s Movement. Unlike Women’s Studies that focus on understanding and interpreting women’s lives, Gender Studies examines the ongoing construction of both masculinity and femininity in society and the relationships between both sexes. It seeks to develop a more incisive understanding of why sexual differences have created a hierarchical imbalance between males and females in society and how these can be addressed to support development.