Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro

2.2.2019 klo 12:00 - 27.2.2019 klo 23:59


Tästä osiosta löydät kurssin opetusaikataulun. Tarkista mahdolliset muut aikataulut kuvauksesta.

Ma 4.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Ti 5.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Ke 6.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
To 7.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Pe 8.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Ma 11.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Ti 12.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Ke 13.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
To 14.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45
Pe 15.3.2019
15:15 - 16:45


This course is included in the optional studies of the Bachelor of Laws degree and the Master of Laws degree.

Registration onto this course is open to all students from the Bachelor of Laws programme and the Finnish Master of Laws programme, all students pursuing doctoral studies and those on the MICL or IBL programme, as well as to exchange students, and to students with the right to complete minor sub­ject stud­ies or the right to complete non-degree studies at the Faculty of Law.

Apply for a right to complete minor sub­ject stud­ies or for the right to complete non-degree studies at the Faculty of Law here: https://guide.student.helsinki.fi/en/article/optional-studies-law and https://www.helsinki.fi/en/faculty-of-law/admissions/apply-to-the-faculty-of-law.

The course is planned for at least 2nd year bachelor and 1st year master’s level. The requirement is general studies in law (understanding of the legal system, branches of law, etc.)

The course aims at forming gender sensitive legal knowledge and skills among students with a special focus on expert knowledge international standards in gender equality.

Students will gain knowledge on:

─ Gain a substantive understanding of law’s view of itself and its relationship to our sex and gender;

─ Introduce the student to reading critical theory and legal analysis;

─ Introduce the student to reading black letter criminal and constitutional law, cases and factums.

Skills and abilities:

─ Foster student’s ability to approach controversial issues, theories and texts with a critical lens and an open mind;

─ Develop the ability to research and write substantive analytical research papers;

─ Foster the ability and the confidence to think critically.

Students should gain the following competences:

- ability to work with information (search, evaluate, use information, necessary for fulfilment of scientific and professional tasks, from various sources, including application of the systematic approach);

- ability to carry out professional activities in the international environment;

- ability to search, analyse, and work with legally relevant information by using the juridical, comparative and other specific methods,

- Learn how to work cooperatively in groups.

IV teaching period

This class asks how does gender construct law and how does law construct gender? Over the past thirty years a rich and exciting body of scholarship called feminist legal theory has developed. It poses a significant challenge to traditional ways of thinking about law, questioning some of the basic premises of what constitutes justice and equality in a liberal democracy. This course examines the main tenets, methodologies, and controversies in feminist legal theory including the meaning of equality, the intersection of race and law, the public/private divide, concepts of objectivity and neutrality, and how law reproduces hierarchies while also having the ability to participate in significant social change. We will also analyze debates regarding essentialism, women’s sexual agency, masculinity, and concepts of the family and basic rights of citizenship.

Using these methodologies we then examine a number of areas of law including equal protection, reproductive rights, the sex trade, work family issues, and violence. The goal of the course is to think broadly and critically regarding the interaction of law, society, and gender while exploring the potential and limitations of the national legal systems.


Class 1. Gender theory and law.

Class 2. Gender equality and human rights.

Class 3. Gender and Family Law.

Class 4. Gender and Reproductive rights.

Class 5. Gender equality and labour market.

Class 6. Gender equality and criminal law.

Class 7-8. Gender-based violence.

Class 9. LGBTQI, gender identity and equality

Class 10. Gender equality in the twenty-first century.

The readings are assigned to each class and will be tailored to students’ needs after the primary assessment of those enrolled.

The essential reading list:

1) Susanne Baer: A different approach to jurisprudence? Feminisms in german legal science, legal cultures, and the ambivalence of law. Cardozo Women's Journal, [1996] Vol. 3, No 2.;

2) Barbara Einhorn: Self-Determination under Threat: The State and Reproductive Rights. (Part 3) in:Cinderella goes to market: citizenship, gender, and women’s movements in East Central Europe.;

3) Barbara Einhorn: Right or Duty? Women and the Economy. (Part 4) in: Cinderella goes to market: citizenship, gender, and women’s movements in East Central Europe.;

4) Glendora C. Hughes : Sexual Harassment Then and Now. Maryland Bar Journal May/June, 2000;

5) Herma Hill Kay: Equality and Difference: The Case of Pregnancy (1985). In: Feminist Legal Theory, Vol. I. ed. by F.E. Olsen (Dartmouth, 1995);

6) Catharine A. MacKinnon: Difference and Dominance: On Sex Discrimination (1984) in: Feminist Legal Theory, ed. by K.T. Bartlett & Rosanne Kennedy. (Vestwiew Press, 1991);

7) Frances E. Olsen: The family and the market: A study of ideology and reform. Harvard Law Review, Vol 96, May 1983;

8) Deborah L. Rhode: Sex and Violence (Chapter 10) in: Justice and Gender. Sex Discrimination and the Law. Harvard University Press. 1991;

9) Joan C. Williams: Deconstructing Gender (1989) In: in: Feminist Legal Theory, ed. by K.T. Bartlett & Rosanne Kennedy. Vestwiew Press, 1991.

The course uses 0-5 scale, in which 5 is excellent and 0 is non-attendance.

The break of the grade is the following:

In-Class Participation (10%): Participation includes attending class, demonstrating that students have completed the assigned readings, and engaging in class discussions, discussion groups, in-class writing, and other activities. At least 75% of classes is a requirement to successfully complete the course. The participation would be graded at the end of the course, based on the attendance record, participation in Q&A sessions on readings in each class and other decisions and debates.

Small Assignments (30%): Throughout the module you will be given various small assignments. They help students dig deeper into the material, and engage with students’ own experience throughout the semester as well as to check students’ understanding of topics covered.

Final Discussion (30%): The classes conclude with final discussion (last class), for which each student will need to identify the most acute legal issue in respect to gender and write up 800 words explaining why this issue seems to be important and requires attention. The description will serve as an outline for the final paper. The essays will be grouped according to their topics and distributed among other students with similar themes to organise group discussion during the final session.

Final paper on legal analysis of gender-related issue (30%): Based on the outline of the legal issue presented for the final discussion, students will be required to complete a research paper (not more than 4,500 words) analyzing the problem in depth.

The course is based on problem-based learning and suggests active student involvement and preparation to each class. The structure of the class is: introductory lecture following discussion and group-based activities for students to be able to apply lecture material to problem-solving. The course also include project-based work on the gender expertise paper to learn specific policy skills to assess policy and legal documents. The course is skills-based and focused on students learning via problem-solving and critical thinking methods.

Marianna Muravyeva and Alexander Kondakov

The course is planned for at least 2nd year bachelor and 1st year master’s level. The requirement is general studies in law (understanding of the legal system, branches of law, etc.)