This unit explores topics and approaches to understand social transformation, inequality and systems of oppression in relation to gender and sexualities in contemporary society. The unit offers critical perspectives on categories of difference and their relationship to activism and social change. The unit also examines current debates around social and cultural transformation, mobilization, collective action, political engagement, and ideas of interconnection and belonging. Students will consider what equality, equity and empowerment mean, and why they are important in understanding inclusion and belonging. The unit explores the future of gender-based activism and political action in the context of new social spaces. Students are introduced to practical activist-based approaches with gendered debates as a main focus. 

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate the intersectionality of gender, sexualities, race, class and related categories of difference in the context of social change;  
  2. Exhibit an understanding of social movements and their relationship to political action;  
  3. Apply, identify and articulate feminist approaches to inequality and oppression;  
  4. Examine and respond to contemporary debates by engaging with activist-based approaches appropriate to feminism and gender studies; and  
  5. Analyse and apply critical thinking to issues of inequality and social change.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Media analysis of a contemporary political action 30%
Presentation Formal group presentation on current gender-based political action 30%
Essay Major essay on group presentation and themes from the unit 40%

Where to next?

As part of a course

You can choose to study this unit as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to structure your course to include this unit.

Study a single unit

This unit may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.