Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Political Science


The Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women (1995) states: "Equality between women and men is a matter of human rights and a condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality, development and peace." As this statement suggests, women are indispensable to any program in the developing world desiring sustainable, effective development. Despite efforts to thwart gender inequality, more women than men still live below the poverty line, and there is a global gender gap in levels of education and access to resources. In response to these conditions, the UN Population Fund reported the following:

"Programmes that reduce gender inequality can significantly improve individual and household welfare and national economic growth. If sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had had the same female-male ratio in years of schooling that East Asia did in 1960, and had closed the education gender gap at the rate achieved by East Asia from 1960 to 1992, their per capita income could have grown by an additional 0.5 to 0.9 percentage points per year in sub-Saharan Africa, 1.7 per cent in South Asia and 2.2 per cent in West Asia."



Faculty Mentor

Shannon Peterson

Departmental Honors Advisor

Mary E. Leavitt