The aim of this assignment is to investigate how various social, economic, and political forces and/or changes imposed by or within the state can impact human rights and the local understandings of gender and/or sexuality in a given society.

To begin with, explore the topics of “LGBT Rights” and “Women’s Rights” at the Human Rights Watch website (click the “Topics” tab at the top of the page). Within each of these broad topics you will find reports, videos, and news articles pertaining to particular issues of human rights concerns within a variety of societies or certain segments of a given society. Choose one human rights issue impacting women/girls or LGBTQ+ in a given society to describe and discuss what is constructing this phenomenon.

Some questions you may want to consider in the assignment:

What is the negative phenomenon impacting the human rights for females and/or LGBTQ+ in a particular society that you are interested in? Who are being targeted?

What has influenced change (if any) in the society? What has been the outcome of these changes on human rights?

What is seen as being necessary to address this human rights concern (i.e., what are local groups trying to do to support the marginalized group in question)?

You may also choose a topic already addressed in the course (e.g., honour killings, or female genital cutting), or you may want to choose a topic of your own interest (e.g., female infanticide, bride-burning/dowry deaths, gendercide, acid attacks, female trafficking, or other violence against females, sexual orientation, or gender identity). You can always e-mail me if you need assistance with picking your topic.


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