Achieving social justice and overcoming sexism and racism in the USA and globally are the main underlining principles of the women’s studies program at Niagara University. Specifically, the program offers courses that address
- The impact of social distinctions based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, culture, religion, and sexuality on equality among men and women
- The use of feminist theories as points of intellectual departure and critical inquiry
- The indispensability of gender awareness in their own lives, including an appreciation of diverse ways of understanding the world;
- The possibilities for activism and change at local, national, and global level
The program draws its strength from using an interdisciplinary framework to analyze the historical, economic, political, social, and cultural experiences of women, and from providing critical tools for analytical inquiry into the lives of women through the use of “gender lens,” and active integration of students’ own experiences and lives.
The minor requires the completion of five courses, including the introductory course (WMS 200), which discusses issues ranging from the history and politics of women’s movement in the USA, women’s roles and contributions in political, social, and economic life; combining career and family; the role of media in shaping images of the body and sexuality; women in developing countries, and the role of the United Nations in establishing a global gender framework, including remaining challenges for achieving gender equality in today’s globalized world, and areas of activism and agency for social justice.