LSME 410 : Critical Thinking Skills




BSc (Hons) Business Management

Module Code

LSME 410
LSME 410 : Critical Thinking Skills

Module Description
Critical thinking is the ability to question what we read, hear and/or see. In all academic
disciplines, there are differences of opinion, conflicting evidence and uncertainty, and a key
skill in higher education is the ability to assess the evidence and arguments presented by
others. This involves researching the topic, analysing the arguments given by different
researchers in the field, and weighing up the evidence so that you can form your own
understanding and conclusions about whose point of view you agree with and why.
Assessment Tasks
There are TWO assignments to be completed in this module:
 Assignment 1 – (Case Study) 2000 words +/- 10%
Total Weighting: 50%
Intended Learning Outcomes: 1 and 4
 Assignment 2 – (Case study) 2000 words +/- 10%
Total Weighting: 50%
Intended Learning Outcomes: 2 and 3
Assignment 1: (Case Study)
Source: Rawlence, A. (2022) Is it too late for the UK government to meet its commitments on

gender equality by 2030?[Available at: <https://www.bond.org.uk/news/2022/07/is-it-too-

(Accessed 15 August 2022).
Is it too late for the UK government to meet its commitments on gender equality by 2030?
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed in 2015. Technically, we should be
at the halfway point to achieving them. But even though activists and civil society
organisations have been setting out actionable and tangible steps for change, we couldn’t be
more off track from meeting the 2030 deadline.
This is particularly true for Goal 5 on gender equality which, in addition to being a vital
standalone priority, is an integral and catalytic part of the whole SDG Agenda. The impact of
Covid-19, climate change and rising insecurity combined with a retreat from multilateralism
and decisions to cut funding for development have thwarted progress on all 17 SDGs, but
particularly Goal 5.
With just eight years left to meet its commitments to achieve gender equality and implement
the SDGs, has the UK government missed its opportunity?
How have Covid-19, climate change and conflict impacted gender equality?
The short answer is exponentially. The UN estimates that 47 million women and girls have
been pushed into extreme poverty as a result of Covid-19. The pandemic has cost women an
estimated USD 800m in lost income; women’s unpaid and community work has increased;
and all types of violence against women have intensified. As with all crises, this has been felt
most by marginalised women and girls.

Multiplying the impact of Covid-19, climate change continues to exacerbate the challenges
that women face in realising their rights. For example, a lack of land rights for women limits
their opportunities to participate in, contribute to and benefit from environmental policies
and programmes. The impact of long droughts and heavy rain increases girls’ vulnerability to
violence as deforestation has meant that they must travel further to obtain firewood for fuel.
Climate change, Covid-19 and violence against women and girls are happening everywhere,
but the effects are worst felt in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. This includes the conflict
in Ukraine, which has had a devastating impact on women and girls directly in these areas.
The rising price of fuel, oil and wheat has increased insecurity where there is already a high
level of instability. Unfortunately, in the landscape of 2022, it looks like these global shocks
are here to stay.
Has the UK government mitigated any of this long-term damage?
The UK government has, in previous years, championed the rights of women and girls on the
global stage including by acting as the “penholder” on women, peace and security at the UN
Security Council and setting up the Gender Equality Advisory Council during the 2021 UK G7
However, it’s a shame tangible examples of the UK’s leadership on both the SDGs and gender
equality are few and far between, and often underfunded and short-term. This suggests that
while the UK government has the capacity and tools to respond effectively to these
challenges, the changing global landscape alongside a lack of prioritisation and political will
has led to gender equality being sidelined.
Decisions taken by the UK government have in fact worsened these crises, causing long-term
damage and making the chances of achieving the SDGs feel even less plausible. In 2021, in the
midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government reduced its UK aid budget by £4.5 billion.
Of this £4.5 billion, over 40% of funding (£1.9 billion) was directly cut from gender equality
projects, which completely undermined the UK’s commitments to SDG5. This decision was
made with no civil society consultation and its disproportionate impact on women and
girls was devastating.
It’s time the UK government put gender equality at the heart of its approach to achieving the
SDGs – here’s how
The UK government’s International Development Strategy was published in May. While this
set out a clear commitment to women and girls, the strategy failed to integrate gender
equality throughout. This risks siloing efforts and opportunities to tackle the root causes of
gender equality and effectively respond to the disproportionate impact of global health crises,
climate change and conflict on women and girls.
Taking a siloed approach is problematic. Not only are women and girls are disproportionately
impacted by all crises, but they are experts in designing and driving forward effective solutions
and responses. The UK government must take a consultative, integrated and holistic approach
to gender equality if it is to achieve both SDG5 and the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

There is still space for change. This year is a unique one for the UK government, with its
Women and Girls Strategy and new Action Plan on Women Peace and Security due to be
published in the coming months. They provide an opportunity for the UK government to set
out an ambitious, coherent and synchronised plan for achieving gender equality. To reach
their SDG commitments, the UK government must:
1. Fund work on gender equality and women’s rights organisations: Guarantee funding
for gender equality and the rights of women and girls, including by increasing the
provision of accessible, and flexible long-term funding for women’s rights organisations.
2. Listen to and partner with women: Meaningfully engage with women and women’s
rights organisations to support solutions driven forward by their experiences and
3. Invest in evidence and data: Invest in unofficial data sources to ensure progress on
gender equality leaves no one behind.
Women’s rights activists and organisations are providing viable alternative solutions for
recovery that can sustainably address the systemic inequalities the pandemic, climate change
and ongoing conflict have exposed. Now is the time to listen to these solutions and put them
at the heart of recovery to achieve SDG5.
Without gender equality, we have no chance of meeting the SDGs by 2030. This is a final

opportunity for the UK government to prioritise a holistic integrated approach to gender-
transformative change. The clock is ticking.

Assignment Task:
Perform the Case Study evaluation by providing a correct response to the following:
1. In a short introductory statement, describe the purposes of applying critical thinking to
the above case study
[20 Marks]
2. Demonstrate an understanding of critical thinking skills by examining claims made in the
given case study based on your research and understanding of the topic
[40 Marks]
3. Using your developing critical thinking skills, evaluate the ideas expressed in the
case study based on your research and understanding of the topic
[40 Marks]