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UCL Women's Liberation



UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group Spring Term Meeting

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 27 February 2020


In light of the rapidly changing situation in relation to Covid-19 the convenors of the SIG have decided to postpone the SIG meeting tomorrow.

Apologies for such short notice, but given the decision on Friday to end all face-to-face teaching at UCL, and the Director of IOE’s decision to cancel all public events we felt it was necessary.

We hope to see you when the event is rescheduled.

Holly Smith, Judith Suissa and Alice Sullivan Co-Convenors of UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group


UCL Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group Spring Term Meeting

‘Let’s Talk about Brain Sex’

16 March 1-2pm Room 675, 20 Bedford Way, IOE

We welcome Sophie Scott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience who will lead the seminar for the Spring Term meeting of the Women’s Liberation Special Interest Group.

“In this talk I will outline some of the theories and studies behind the brain sex theory of differences between male and female brains. The aim is to critically evaluate what differences there are between male/female brains and behaviour, and what any of this might mean in terms of arguments about women’s liberation.”

Please join us for this seminar which is open all UCL staff and students who share a concern for Women’s Liberation, all welcome!

UCL Women’s Liberation Convenors respond to defamation of WPUK

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 20 February 2020

We are shocked and dismayed to see the anonymous Labour Campaign for Trans Rights describe WPUK and LGB Alliance as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”. We worked closely with WPUK to co-organise the ‘Women’s Liberation 2020’ conference celebrating 50 years since the first Women’s Liberation conference in the UK. This was an inspirational event bringing together nearly a thousand women with diverse views to discuss every issue affecting the lives of women today.

We have nothing but respect for the tireless campaigning for women’s rights by the founders of WPUK. We note their commitment to uphold the rights of everyone in society https://womansplaceuk.org/wpuk-manifesto-2019/

“Woman’s Place UK is a group of people from a range of backgrounds including trade unions, women’s organisations, academia and the NHS. We are united by our belief that women’s hard-won rights must be defended.

We are against all forms of discrimination. We believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment. Women face entrenched and endemic structural inequality. This is reflected, for example, in the high levels of sexual harassment and violence against women and girls; the ‘gender’ pay gap; discrimination at work. This is why sex is a protected characteristic in the Equality Act (2010) which we believe must be defended.”

WPUK operate with transparency; their website has a clear manifesto, a record of every meeting and their YouTube channel has video recordings of the speeches made at their meetings. We challenge the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights to identify any statements or actions by WPUK which justify describing them as a hate group or to withdraw their statements which we believe to be entirely false and defamatory.

UCL Women’s Liberation 2020 on Woman’s Hour

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 12 February 2020

Woman’s Hour came to our conference on 1st February, celebrating 50 years of Women’s Liberation in the UK. You can listen to the interview (from 0.25) with Professor Sophie Scott (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) and Helen Joyce (UCL Alumna and Finance Editor at the Economist), discussing why the conference was important.


Women’s Liberation 2020 Conference

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 10 January 2020

UCL Women’s Liberation is organising a large one-day conference in February 2020, bringing together academics, policymakers, practitioners, journalists and activists for a day of feminist plenaries, panel discussions and practical campaigning workshops. We are delighted to be working with our third sector partners WPUK, Southall Black Sisters, FiLiA, The National Assembly of Women and the Centre for Women’s Justice.

2020 marks the 50 year anniversary of the first UK Women’s Liberation conference in the UK. We anticipate a national moment of reflection and evaluation of progress in the women’s movement. UCL was the first university in the UK to admit women on an equal basis to men, UCL is a fitting venue for this landmark event.

The conference will address themes of: the economic status of women, ending violence, harassment and abuse of women and girls, improved access to healthcare, education and training, justice for women in the legal system, representation and participation in democracy, culture, sports and all areas of public life.

Keynote speakers include Joanna Cherry QC MP, Pragna Patel, Joan McAlpine MSP, Julie Bindel and Maya Forstater. In addition to hearing leading feminist writers, researchers and activists, there will be a practical focus on empowerment of participants to return to their communities, workplaces and families with campaigning skills.

The Conference will take place on Saturday 1st February at University College London, Institute of Education 10.00-17.00.

Please purchase tickets via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/womens-liberation-2020-tickets-86046570609.

There are a limited number of tickets reserved for UCL staff at the regular rate. In ‘Select promo code’ box enter ‘UCLWLSIG’ and click Apply. The message ‘New Tickets unlocked below’ will appear and the option to purchase at the Standard ticket price of £25. You will also need to provide a UCL staff email address in Eventbrite.

The gender wars, academic freedom and education

By UCL Women's Liberation, on 21 September 2019

Academics who do not adhere to a particular line on gender and transgender issues have suffered intimidation by trans activists. The people under attack are not mavericks or extremists. They are feminists who question the trans-orthodox view that biological sex is a social construct while gendered identities are fixed and innate. They also seek to defend women’s sex-based rights. In this article, with Judith Suissa, we explain what is happening and consider what steps the higher education community needs to take to ensure that academic freedom is not curtailed.