The aim of this workshop is to take forward the work on women and substantive equality begun in Onati in 2006. Despite the fact that the Millennium Development Goals promised to achieve gender equality and maternal health by 2015, equality remains a distant promise. Indeed, austerity, the rise of fundamentalism and other factors have caused the increase in inequalities in some areas. How then can the right to equality be developed to have a greater impact on inequalities? The workshop aims to explore current developments, to analyse existing weaknesses and to attempt to point towards future improvements in the ways in which human rights frameworks can address these problems.


A limited number of places are available for non-speakers. 

Standard registration: Workshop attendance is charged at £15 per day (including lunch and tea). Accommodation in Pembroke College is available at an additional £85 per night (including breakfast). There is an optional workshop dinner on Tuesday 11 September at an additional charge of £46 per head. 

To reserve your place at the workshop please follow this link to our online registration and payment system. For assistance in making your booking please email    

Free registration for up to ten Oxford students: There are up to ten places available for students currently registered at Oxford to attend the workshop sessions free of charge. The workshop dinner will be charged at a subsidised rate of £20 for students. Simply login to the online registration and payment system and select 'student' on the delegate categories page.

Please note that all registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration closes on Wednesday 29 August.  



A full set of abstracts is available here.

Tuesday, 11 September

9.00-9.30 am -- Welcome and Introductory Remarks:  Sex, Gender and Women: The Challenges of Equality in times of Austerity


9.30-11.00 am -- Equality and Social Welfare Panel                   

  • Lucie LaMarche (University of Ottawa) — “Re-Regulating the Social in a Globalized and Traumatized Economy: Gender as a functional ‘risk management’ category”
  • Beth Goldblatt (University of New South Wales) — “Exploring the relationship between the right to social security and equality in tackling women’s poverty”
  • Savitri Goonesekere (University of Colombo) — “From Social Welfare To Human Rights For Girls: A Path to Achieving Gender Equality”


11.00- 11.30 am Tea and Coffee Break in the Main Hall


11.30-1.00pm -- Intersectionality                                                         

  • Diamond Ashiagbor (University of London) —“Race and gender in EU labour markets: Intersectional discrimination and organisational change”
  • Daniela Ikawa (Columbia University) —“The construction of identity and rights: race, class, and gender in Brazil”
  • Muriel Mushariwa (University of Witwatersrand) —“Race and Gender in Affirmative Action”


1.00-2.00 pm Lunch in the Main Hall


2.00-3.30pm -- The economics of equality: Gender in Austerity       

  • Jill Rubery (Manchester Business School) – “How to sustain interest in gender equality initiative during a recession?”
  • Dianne Elson (University of Essex) — “Human Rights and Government Budgets: Defending Gender Equality in Times of Austerity”
  • Janine Brodie (University of Alberta) — “The economics of equal opportunities: Gender in times of austerity”


3.30 – 4.00 pm Tea and Coffee Break


4.00-5.30pm -- Role of Courts in Developing a Gendered Perspective                     

  • Cathi Albertyn(University of Witwatersrand) —“Culture, religion and Constitutional Equality”
  • Jayna Kothari (Centre for Law and Policy Research)—“Does Public Interest Litigation Work for Women’s Rights?”


7.00 pm Drinks Reception at Broadgates Hall

7.45 Dinner in the Forte Room

9.15 After Dinner Drinks at Pembroke Bar


Wednesday, 12 September

8.30-10.00 -- Achieving Equality in Labour Regulation                                                           

  • Deirdre McCann (University of Manchester) —“Equality through precarious work regulation?: lessons from the domestic work”
  • Emily Grabham (University of Kent) —“Beyond the Concept of Balance in Feminist Labour Law”
  • Kendra Strauss (University of Cambridge) —“Accessing resources: the right to equality inside and out of labour market”


10.00 – 10.30 am Tea and Coffee Break in the Main Hall


10:30- 12:00 -- Unseen Work: Challenging Women’s Role in Care Work    

  • Nicole Busby (University of Strathclyde) —“Care Work in a Time of Austerity”
  • Judy Fudge (University of Victoria) —“Women Workers: Is Equality Enough?”
  • Sandy Fredman (University of Oxford) —“Reversing Roles: Bringing men into the frame”


12.00-1.00 pm Lunch in the Main Hall


1.00 – 2.30pm -- Role of Courts in Developing a Gendered Perspective: Case Studies              

  • Alathea Molokomme (Attorney-General of Botswana)—The  Role of courts in developing a gendered perspective: The Case of Botswana
  • Amanda Spies (University of Witwatersrand)—Gender Litigation and the Relevance of Amicus Curiae in the South African Constitutional Court


2.30-3.00 pm Tea and Coffee Break


3.00-4.00pm -- Moving Forward: Strategtic Round-table Discussion