Academics to reflect on progress of feminist movement

4 May 2018

Conference attendees

Leading researchers in the field of law and gender will discuss how sexism can be stamped out for good.

The conference marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of ‘The Sexual Contract’ written by Carole Pateman, an Honorary Professor at Cardiff. The ground-breaking work, which remains a key text for students, highlighted ways that women continued to be subordinate to men, despite the myth that all citizens are equal under the social contract.

One of the organisers of the conference, Dr Sharon Thompson, a Senior Lecturer in Law, said: “Three decades on, the issues that arise in this book are as relevant now as ever. Gender inequality continues to be present in all aspects of life. It is therefore vital that research in this area continues so academics can provide insight and analysis to inform the debate.”

The event on May 10 and 11 is hosted by the Law and Gender research group, part of the Cardiff Centre for Law and Society and Feminist Legal Studies, a leading journal. Scholars from the UK, US, Europe, Australia and Canada inspired by the book’s conclusions will explore its relevance today as well as new understandings of various contractual relationships including marriage and employment.

Law lecturer and conference co-organiser, Dr Lydia Hayes added: “As socio-legal scholars, The Sexual Contract has been formative in, and transformative of, our understandings of law and gender. Our conference is a great opportunity to celebrate this feminist masterpiece and engage with our keynote speakers Professor Carole Pateman and Professor Joan Tronto.”

Dr Russell Sandberg, Head of the Law Department, said: “The discussions around gender inequality happening today mean it is important that we reflect this in our research and teaching. I am thrilled that our Law and Gender research group - led by Dr Lydia Hayes, Dr Daniel Newman and Dr Sharon Thompson - is leading the field with its work.”