Department Chair: Ann Shalleck
Since 1984 the Women and the Law Program has promoted the integration of women's rights and gender studies into legal education, practice and doctrine. To foster the study and teaching of gender and international or comparative law, the program expanded to include a Women and International Law Program in 1994.
The Women and the Law Program emphasizes the role of law and legal education in transforming women’s status around the world. The program challenges assumptions about the role of women in the family, civil society, and governance in domestic, international and transnational institutions. However, engaging in either academic study or advocacy alone is not enough if the people who make the legal and political decisions that shape women’s lives- judges, lawyers and policy makers- ignore the concerns of women. Therefore, the program seeks to influence the thinking of political and social leaders who hold the power to address the legal dimensions of gender inequality. We aim to transform the training of lawyers and scholars so that they leave law school with an awareness of their power and obligation to remove the legal barriers to women’s full participation in society.