University Is A Gendered Institution And Knowledge Is Also Gendered.

1093 words - 4 pages

This essay is to discuss the proposition that the university as a gendered institution and that knowledge is also gendered. I'll discuss the connection between these two and the feminist responds to the patriarchal nature of universities and conventional knowledge.The university is a gendered institution. You need to be "gendered" to describe the university. Gender shapes universities and universities shape gender. It means that the organization of relationships between men and women, organizes the institution. Gender may categorize the student enrolment pattern of the institution. First, we look at the student enrolment pattern of University of Tasmania.The pattern of student enrolments in different faculties is highly gendered. According to the statistic of student enrolment in year 2002, percentages of undergraduate women in the faculties of Arts, Education, and Health Science are 66.1, 69.4 and 71.6 respectively. Most of the women chose to study in Health Science. The Faculty of Health Science consists of Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, and Bachelor of Pharmacy. Among the 71.6% of women who are undergraduate students in Health Science, most of them are studying Nursing, followed by Pharmacy and Medicine and Surgery. It indicates that the School of Nursing is a very female-dominant school following by Education and Arts. This may be explained by the subjective proposition that women are more patient than men. They are more likely to take care of other people than men do. The occupations that have been considered to be suitable for women are those in which the woman can use her innate abilities of nurturing and caring. The percentages of undergraduate women in the faculties of Commerce, Law, and Science and Engineering are 44.6, 59.4 and 31.9. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is most male-dominated. An explanation may be that knowledge is gendered because most of the scientists have defined knowledge, making it gendered, are men.In a reference to the predominance of women enrolled in nursing and teaching, Cobbin (1995) stated that 'Overall 14% of women continued to enroll in studies frequently associated with a lower career status.' Women who have the same level of qualification as men earn less than men. 'Women pay the same prices as men for postgraduate courses, but the latest destination survey shows they continue to earn less after they graduate as masters, PhDs or diplomats.' (The Australian, 1 Dec 1999, p.43) It may also explain why not many women continued to do postgraduate research after undergraduate studies.The pattern of employment of academic staff is a gendered pattern. The number of female academic staff in the University of Tasmania is 836 and male academic staff is 823. There are many more women employed in the general staff than men - 402 women, 264 men. Most of the women are holding lower level positions than men. Men are always on top of the work hierarchy, most of the lecturers are men except...

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