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This course considers the role of the law in creating and perpetuating gender inequalities.  Feminist legal theory challenges  the practice and theory of law and this course explores its potential to effect social transformation in select areas of women's lives. The course will trace the historical development of feminist legal theory in both India and in the West, and its modern developments, including key concepts including formal and substantive equality, the public/private divide,  intersections between categories such as race, class, caste and gender and explore theories of universalism and cultural relativism. The course will also explore a range of substantive issues of particular relevance to Indian society including child marriage, dowry, and sex-selection, and a range of issues relevant to both Indian and Australian society including family relationships, sex work, economic empowerment of women and violence against women. The course aims to assist students to develop skills in critical thinking and it  builds core skills that students need to examine gendered constructions of law and how those constructions lead to inequality and discrimination. The course will be taught using an active learning approach. Two field trips to local organisations in Pune, India will be included as part of the course.

Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Summer Term



Indicative contact hours



Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

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