X Close

UCL Women's Liberation



Education For Women’s Liberation: One Day Conference #Ed4WomensLib

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 20 December 2022

4th Feb 2023 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM at UCL’s Institute of Education



UCL Women’s Liberation SIG and WPUK are excited to announce a day of feminist thought and women’s activism. Building on the highly successful Women’s Liberation 2020 conference, this conference aims to bring together feminist activists, students, academics, writers, politicians and women’s organisations.

Education is key in the struggle for women’s liberation. The campaign for women’s suffrage in this country went hand in hand with campaigns for women’s access to educational opportunities. UCL was the first UK university to admit women on equal terms to men and has historically played an important role in this struggle. The struggle of women and girls to access education continues around the globe today.

Sisters, it is time to bring feminism back into the lecture theatres!

Focusing on education in feminism and women’s lives, the conference will address interconnected themes including: women’s voices in education; sexual harassment in schools and universities; the history of women’s access to education in local and global contexts; the ways in which women’s entrance into education and research has changed workplaces and academic disciplines; the impact of gendered stereotypes in educational spaces, and sex and relationship education in schools.

The conference programme will be structured around five panels with invited speakers from a range of academic disciplines, the focus will be on bringing academic research to bear on topical issues of policy and practice. Alongside the academic discussions, participants will have the opportunity to take part in workshops facilitated by experienced activists and organizers, focusing on developing skills and networking to organize for change in local and national contexts.


9am Doors open.

10-11am Opening plenary Joanna Cherry KC & Akua Reindorf, Introduced by UCL’s Brad Blitz.

11.30-1pm Panels (simultaneous)

Panel 1: Women’s voices in education

Attempts to narrow the scope of what can be said about sex and gender within higher education create unspeakable truths which have wide-ranging effects on research and teaching. This session asks, how are women reclaiming academic freedom and freedom of speech as liberatory values? What lessons can be learned from our successes and failures over the last few years? How can we build support, solidarity and momentum within and across our institutions? How can we influence policy?

Chair: Lesley Gourlay Professor of Education, UCL Institute of Education
Alice Sullivan Professor of Sociology and Head of Research, UCL Social Research Institute, Co-convenor, UCL Women’s Liberation SIG
Raquel Rosario Sanchez Dominican writer, campaigner and researcher
Judith Suissa Professor of Philosophy of Education, UCL Institute of Education, Co-convenor, UCL Women’s Liberation SIG
Jo Phoenix Professor of Criminology, University of Reading

Panel 2: Teaching about sex and gender in schools

The DfE guidance in 2021 achieved a long-held feminist goal of compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) inclusive of sexual orientation, as well as wider issues of intimate partner violence and coercive control. At the same time, there is a widespread programme of outreach into schools by proponents of ideas of innate gender identity and that sex is a spectrum, often taught under the wider remit of equalities or inclusion. What would a truly feminist RSE look like?

Chair: Michelle Shipworth Assoc Professor in Energy and Social Sciences, UCL Energy Institute
Michele Moore Professor of Inclusive Education, Northumbria University. Co-Edited the groundbreaking book Transgender Children and Young People, Born in Your Own Body
Tamasine Preece Secondary practitioner, health and well-being/PSHE researcher and consultant
Kiri Tunks Teacher, co-founder & Director, Woman’s Place UK. Winner of the Annie Higdon Award
Shereen Benjamin Lecturer in Primary Education, Edinburgh University

Panel 3: Schooling of girls’ minds and bodies

What do culture and society teach girls about their bodies and minds? Growing up a girl is to navigate a world of sex stereotypes, porn culture, sexual harassment, and intense focus on body image. Mental health problems and levels of self-harm are at unprecedented levels for young girls. What are girls’ experiences of their bodies and mental health? How can feminists respond across generations?

Chair: Gemma Moss Professor of Literacy, UCL Institute of Education, Director of the ESRC Education Research Programme
Victoria Smith Feminist writer and journalist. Author of Hags, published Spring 2023
Stella O’Malley Psychotherapist and best-selling author. Founder of Genspect
Dr Katie Alcock Senior Lecturer in Psychology at The University of Lancaster

Panel 4: The global history of women’s access to education

Access to education has historically gone hand in hand with increased political empowerment for women. This panel will address how this struggle has played out and continues to affect women around the globe.

Chair: Miriam David Professor Emerita, Sociology of Education, UCL Institute of Education
Maryam Namazie Iranian born women’s rights campaigner, writer & spokesperson of One Law for All, and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Jane Martin Professor of Social History of Education, University of Birmingham. Director, Domus Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood
Amy North Associate Professor, Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), UCL Institute of Education

Panel 5: Women, education, and work

Women’s entrance into the workplace and public life has had far-reaching impacts on professions, research agendas, and labour patterns. Changes to women’s work and life chances have led to changes in labour markets and family life. Panellists will address issues such as women’s struggle to access higher education and the professions; women’s financial independence; the need to accommodate mothers in the workplace; equality law, and women’s trade union organizing in the workplace.

Chair: Stephanie Bird Professor of German Studies, School of European Languages, Culture and Society, UCL
Ann Henderson Campaigner in the labour movement and former Rector of the University of Edinburgh. Served as Scottish Commissioner on the Women’s National Commission
Audrey Ludwig Discrimination law solicitor
Senia Paseta Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford

1-2.30pm Lunch: fresh sandwiches & wraps for every dietary requirement.

2.30pm Interactive workshops TBA

4pm Refreshments, tea, coffee and pastries.

4.30-5.30pm Closing plenary Kathleen StockHelen Joyce & Julie Bindel

5.30pm Cashless bar & networking opportunities

7pm until late Evening entertainment TBA

The Feminist Market Place A range of independent feminist stalls, book shops and campaigns.

Please follow this link to access the full programme.

This event is supported by FiLiA and Southall Black Sisters.

About UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group (SIG)

This SIG was set up in 2019 to bring together staff from a range of disciplines whose research addresses pressing social and political issues concerning the status and meaning of women’s rights. Through our seminar series and events, we aim to generate public conversations and collaborations around issues of sex and gender inequalities.

About Woman’s Place UK (WPUK)

Winner of the Emma Humphreys Memorial Group Prize 2018.

WPUK is a grassroots feminist campaign, formed by a group of women in the labour and trade union movement to uphold women’s sex-based rights under the Equality Act 2010.

Woman’s Place UK has organised 31 public meetings, 11 webinars and a conference. These events have been hugely popular with over 15,000 tickets booked across the UK and globally.


We are committed to ensuring access for attendees with disabilities. The conference venue is accessible for those with mobility impairments. Please inform us in advance so that a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan can be completed if you would require assistance during an evacuation, and so that we can ensure sufficient spaces for those using wheelchairs. Please do contact us about your access needs and we will do everything we can to ensure that you can participate fully.

We are not offering a creche at this conference but please contact us if caring obligations would prevent you from attending so that we can provide support. Please email us at wpukevents@gmail.com

Where is the conference taking place?
Institute of Education UCL, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. UCL is located 10 mins from Euston mainline Station and close to Warren Street, Euston Square and Russell Square tube stations.

Are there ID requirements?
ID is required for each person attending and must match the name on the ticket. If you are booking more than one ticket please ensure that each ticket is for a named individual.

Is there a minimum age?
There is no minimum age. Babes in arms are welcome. No unaccompanied under 16s.

Are there refreshments?
A vegetarian or vegan lunch is provided, tea & coffee throughout the day & a variety of pastries in the afternoon.

For the security of all attendees bags may be searched.

What’s the refund policy?
Tickets bought may be refunded up to seven days before the event. The organisers reserve the right to cancel and refund any tickets ordered.

When will the speakers be announced and do I need to book into panels and workshops in advance?
You will be asked to express a preference closer to the event in order to allocate the largest rooms to the most popular workshops. However, places cannot be reserved in advance. (NB if you have access needs we will endeavour to facilitate your preferred choice of session.)

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please contact wpukevents@gmail.com

UCL GDPR Privacy Policy

Leave a Reply