Scholarship on Gender Equality

From the school’s earliest days, our faculty have tackled the legal barriers to gender equality. Dean Ellen Spencer Mussey was instrumental in the passage of DC’s Married Women’s Property Act and drafted the Cable Act, ending the automatic loss of citizenship for American women who married citizens of other countries. Dean Emma Gillette championed the Equal Rights Amendment.  Together with the school’s early graduates, they marched for women’s suffrage. 

Our Scholarship

The Women and the Law Program carries on their legacy, fostering scholarship that addresses the legal, social, and economic needs of women and LGBTQ+ people worldwide.  Each year, we host symposia and conferences that gather scholars to address women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights, with a deliberately intersectional and critical race lens.  We also serve as leaders in the larger scholarly community, serving as a critical node in the development of feminist legal thought.

In the past fifteen years, we’ve raised over $1.5M in external funds to support research, teaching, and advocacy projects addressing women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights.  We’ve partnered with public and private funders, including the US Department of State, UN Women, the Government of Canada, the World Bank, The Pan American Health Organization, the Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Women’s Bar Association of DC. 

Following the research interests of the Washington College of Law’s dynamic faculty, we are currently pursuing external funding for research in the areas of human trafficking, sexual and gender-based crimes committed in conflict, comparative family law, gender and health (including COVID-19), access to higher education, women in the legal profession, and the integration of gender into legal education.