Department of Women and Development Studies

About the Department

The Department of Women and Development Studies (DWDS), whose creation was approved by the UP Board of Regents on March 29, 2000, was originally the Women and Development Program which was established in 1987. The DWDS’ Diploma and Master of Arts in Women and Development are pioneering programs in women and gender studies in the Asia-Pacific and remain the only ones being offered in the region. The DWDS aims to provide a historical and comprehensive perspective to the study of gender and development particularly in the context of the South and the Philippines.

Its objectives include:

  • To examine the conditions and positions of women and men in the local, national, regional, and global setting;
  • To conduct and disseminate researches toward greater participation and empowerment of women in the context of more equitable gender relations;
  • To assess development frameworks and strategies as these affect women and men, and encourage the formulation and propagation of alternatives which aim to strengthen the women’s movements and organizations vis-à-vis larger formations of women and men;
  • To critique existing theories and at the same time engage in theory building which can better capture the realities and perspectives of women and men in the and other countries in the South;
  • To provide theoretical knowledge and advanced competencies in gender-related teaching , research, project and program planning and management, gender mainstreaming, organizing and training through direct field experiences; and
  • To facilitate advocacy of women’s and gender issues and networking for gender equality, and women’s rights and empowerment.

Graduate Course Offerings

Diploma in Women and Development (DIP WD)

Designed as an intermediate program for individuals interested in women’s and gender studies as an academic discipline which relates theory to practice and which brings them in contact with development practitioners as well as expose them to actual field experiences. Students may proceed to MAWD program after completion.

Master of Arts in Women and Development (MAWD)

Designed as advanced training for women and gender advocates, educators, development practitioners, and other interested individuals, both women and men aiming to be better organizers, educators, trainers, researchers, project and program planners and managers, policy formulators, and extension workers by situating their activities in the context of feminist and development theories. Two tracks are offered from which students can choose depending on their interests and needs.

  • Plan A: with thesis but no comprehensive examination
  • Plan B: without thesis but with comprehensive examination

The main feature of the WD programs is the division of the curricula into clusters, each is designed to attain specific objectives. The first and last modules, namely; core courses and fieldwork, are common to diploma and master’s programs, while the electives and cognates are selected by master’s students depending on their needs and interests:

  • Required General Courses provide a firm foundation in terms of basic theories, approaches and strategies essential to development work with a gender perspective and towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • WD Elective Courses are focused on the development of specific knowledge and/or competencies in the areas of feminist pedagogy, counseling, policy advocacy, and gender-related national and international development work.
  • Cognates provide in-depth analyses of problems and issues related to gender and development from the perspective of related or allied disciplines (e.g. social work, community development, sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc.)
  • Field Work Courses serve as opportunities for direct field experience and practice to test and enrich their classroom-gained knowledge.