Gender and Law

The details
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
05 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module examines the relationship of law to gender. The module explores the role of gender, sex and sexuality in different socio-legal contexts. The module has a strong international and human rights aspects. We explore the relationship between gender and law by studying case studies in a variety of jurisdictions and cultures.
This is an interdisciplinary, research –led module. It encourages students to challenge the law, culture and policy in relation to some of feminist theories and contemporary dilemmas such as violence against women, employment discrimination, productive, autonomy and right to privacy, migration, sex trafficking and gender justice.

Module aims

This module aims to provide a critical exploration of gender and law from socio-legal perspective. A further aim is to develop skills to ensure that the learning outcomes are achieved.

Module learning outcomes

The principle-learning outcome is to gain a critical understanding of gender issues in law and legal policy. The module also aims at developing student’s skills in critical thinking, leading a presentation, debating and writing a critical informed essay.
At the end of the module students should be able to:

• Critically understand the meaning and scope of gender related issues within law and policy.

• Assess significance of feminist’s theories regarding gender in law.

• Demonstrate critical thinking skills in regard to socio- legal practices of gender in law and legal policy.

• Demonstrate team working and presentation skills to be able to research, write and present a group work.

• Demonstrate research and writing skills in an independent setting.

Module information

The module is divided into four parts.

* Part 1: Understanding sex and gender, gender identity and sexual orientation and the masculine bias of the law

* Part 2: Evaluating the nature and extent of private violence with focus on domestic violence

* Part 3: Discussing gender justice issues such as reproductive rights, development, autonomy and discrimination in the work place

* Part 4: Explore the various intersections between gender and some of contemporary issues such as empowerment, migration, sex trafficking and prostitution.

Learning and teaching methods

One 2-hour interactive seminar per week. This active learning approach will include; lectures, visual presentation, media, debate, group discussion, group presentation, role-play and games.


  • (2015) Obergefell v Hodges, U.S. (574)
  • (no date) Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Thomas, Dorothy Q.; Beasley, Michele E. (1993) 'Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Issue', in Human Rights Quarterly. vol. 15 (1) , pp.36-62
  • Stewart, Ann. (2011) Gender, law and justice in a global market, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • McCormick, T. L. (2019) 'Where is the queer critique of same-sex marriage in South Africa?', in African Studies., pp.1-12
  • (no date) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Ali, Shaheen Sardar. (c2000) Gender and human rights in Islam and international law: equal before Allah, unequal before man?, The Hague: Kluwer Law International.
  • (no date) ICJ Casebook., pp.47-68
  • Sandra Fredman. (2013) 'Engendering Socio-economic Rights', in Women's human rights: CEDAW in international, regional, and national law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., pp.217-241
  • Sally Engle Merry. (no date) 'Constructing a Global Law-Violence against Women and the Human Rights System', in Law & Social Inquiry. vol. 28 (4) , pp.941-977
  • Conaghan, Joanne. (2013) Law and gender, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Schlesinger, Rudolf B. (1988) Comparative law: cases, text, materials, Mineola, N.Y.: Foundation Press.
  • (2012) Gender, sexualities and law, London: Routledge.
  • (no date) 'Margaret Atwood Expands the World of “The Handmaid’s Tale”', in The New Yorker.
  • Maranlou, Sahar. (2017) Access to justice in Iran: women, perceptions, and reality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Atwood, Margaret. (2016) The handmaid's tale, London: Vintage.
  • Uma Narayan. (1998) 'Essence of Culture and a Sense of History: A Feminist Critique of Cultural Essentialism', in Hypatia. vol. 13 (2) , pp.86-106
  • Edwards, Alice. (2011) Violence against women under international human rights law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • (no date) Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.
  • (no date) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Johan Galtung. (1969) 'Violence, Peace, and Peace Research', in Journal of Peace Research. vol. 6 (3) , pp.167-191
  • Amy L. Brandzel. (2005) 'Queering Citizenship? Same-Sex Marriage and the State', in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies: Duke University Press. vol. 11 (2) , pp.171-204
  • Richard M. Buxbaum. (2005) 'Introduction to the 2005 Rudolf B. Schlesinger Lecture on International and Comparative Law', in Hastings International and Comparative Law Review. vol. 28 (2) , pp.187-190

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Summative Essay 15/01/2020 70%
Practical Presentation 30%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Sahar Maranlou



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Law (School of)

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.