Women and Equalities Law: Historical Perspectives on Present Issues

oxford womens society


This project was funded by Strategic Priority QR funding allocated to Oxford University. It is led by Professor Selina Todd and aims to use existing research to inform policymaking in the area of women’s equalities, and to undertake new research where it is needed. In the course of this project, Professor Todd, together with the project’s researcher, Dr Jane Clare Jones, worked with stakeholders including the women’s rights organisation Woman’s Place UK, the policy analysis collective Murray Blackburn Mackenzie, and policymakers including Joan McAlpine MSP to understand better the information that policymakers need, and how historical research can inform this.

As well as meeting policymakers, Professor Todd led a workshop on women’s history at Women’s Liberation 2020, a conference marking 40 years since the first women’s liberation conference. The workshop, which was co-directed by Professor Sarah Pedersen was attended by more than 40 people who included trade unionists and politicians.

An outcome of the project is a report examining the importance of collecting data on men and women in national records such as the census. This report has been disseminated to policymakers and bodies responsible for designing and delivering the next UK census in 2021 (2022 in Scotland). This report was written by Dr Jane Clare Jones, with assistance from and additional writing by Lisa Mackenzie of Murray Blackburn Mackenzie.