Law 693: Feminist Legal Studies Workshop II (Winter 2021)

1 credit

Course description:

The Feminist Legal Studies Workshop is designed to enable students to work closely with faculty in analyzing and discussing with leading feminist theorists and scholars visiting Queen’s Faculty the topics of the speakers’ papers.

The Feminist Legal Studies Workshop course is offered for one course credit per term. In the fall term of 2020, it is designated as Law 692; in the winter term of 2021 it is designated as Law 693. Students may enroll for one credit in the fall term, or for one credit in the winter term, or for a total of two credits in both terms combined. This course can also be combined with an ISP for students who may wish to carry out in-depth independent supervised work in relation to one or more of the areas discussed in this workshop.

Scheduling details:

The workshop speakers will typically be scheduled for the regular visitor slots on Mondays and Fridays, which run from 1 to 2:30 pm, and one or two additional meetings per term will be scheduled around everyone’s class and other commitments. Speaker dates and locations are listed below.

Nature, mode, and content of evaluation of student participation:
Students will attend all the speakers events (4/term or all 7/all year), will prepare advance reading and two advance questions for each speaker in each term, plus 1-2 pages of briefing notes after each session (60% of course credit), will participate in the discussion at the speakers visit (10% of course credit), and will prepare a short term paper of approximately 10-12 pages on a topic that relates to any one of the speakers events (30% of course credit). To be taught by Profs. Amani and Lahey.

Feminist Legal Studies Queen's - Winter Term 2021 Lectures

Friday, January 29, 2021
1-2:30pm, Zoom

Prof. Nandini Ramanujam, McGill University

Topic: Pathways to Equality: Women and Legal Empowerment


Women’s inequality is a major barrier to sustainable global development and universal human dignity. Women’s empowerment has long been considered a crucial component of global development, and human rights agendas. Disillusionment with the failure of a strictly law focussed approach to realizing equality and dignity, has led to the emergence of Legal empowerment movement. This lecture will explore legal empowerment as an effective strategy for achieving political, economic, and social empowerment of women. Looking at both narrow and broad approaches to legal empowerment, the lecture aims to assess its ability to contribute to attaining Sustainable Development Goal Five, Gender Equality. The lecture will conclude by surveying case studies where women’s legal empowerment may be an effective strategy to respond to systemic gender inequality: land rights in South Africa and gender-based violence in the United States and Nepal.


Background Readings:

Stephen Golub, “Beyond Rule of Law Orthodoxy: The Legal Empowerment Alternative” (2003) 41 Democracy and Rule of Law Project. Online:

Tanja Chopra & Deborah Isser, “Access to Justice and Legal Pluralism in Fragile States: The Case of Women’s Rights” (2012) 4 Hague J Rule of Law 337. Online:

Suggested Readings:

Aljazeera, “Nepal Makes First Arrest Over Woman’s Death in ‘Menstrual Hut’” (6 December 2019) online: Aljazeera <>

The Economist, “How an Apartheid-Era Deal Still Afflicts the Land of the Zulus” (19 December 2020) online: The Economist <>

Nicholas Reimann, “Inmates Repeatedly Raped And Beaten By Staff At Nation’s Largest Women’s Prison, DOJ Says” (22 December 2020) online: Forbe <>

US Department of Justice, “Justice Department Alleges Conditions at Lowell Correctional Institution Violate the Constitution” (22 December 2020) online: DOJ <>