“Gender, Religion, and the Law”
To mark International Women’s Day, Professor Fournier is invited to present on March 8, 2018 “Gender, Religion, and the Law”, a presentation organized by the Children’s and Family Law Discussion Group, [CFLDG] at Oxford University. This day, which celebrates the history and place of women in contemporary society, is a good opportunity for the CFLDG to encourage interdisciplinary discussions on complex and controversial issues related to the legal regulation of children, their parents, and the family in general. The event, which is part of a series of conferences, will gather experts and practitioners from a variety of legal fields, including family law, women’s rights and children’s rights. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, which calls for awareness of women’s rights in general and the rights of children, Professor Fournier will present the results of her research on religious women in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Lebanon and Israel. More specifically, she will discuss the barriers and constraints faced by these women during marriage and divorce in legal systems where family law disputes are based entirely or in part on religious law. Professor Fournier is primarily interested in the creative power of legal subjects influenced by the theoretical framework of critical legal pluralism. In this presentation, Professor Fournier will closely examine the multiple interactions between the secular and religious spheres and their impact on the rights of women and children more broadly
Thanks to Professor Fournier’s career-long research and her title as Member of the Royal Society of Canada College and Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law, she has developed an internationally recognized expertise on the interactions between law and religion, examined through the lenses of critical and feminist theories. Professor Fournier is also a member of the University of Ottawa’s Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child and is recognized, through her writings, for her expertise in the field of children’s rights. In her scholarship, she highlights the intrinsic link that exists between the rights of women and the rights of children, particularly in a context where civil law and religious law intertwine. For instance, in her article Secular rights and Religious wrongs ? Family Law, Religion and Women in Israel, Professor Fournier observed that most religiously divorced women had agreed to live adverse financial consequences in order to guarantee the well-being of their children. Women in Jewish and Muslim communities in Western countries such as Germany or Canada also face similar legal obstacles, since their rights to their own children—the right to custody, the right to pass on their nationality or membership to their children—can be limited by religious rules of family law.