Education For Women’s Liberation

Conference: Education For Women's Liberation

Bringing feminism back to the lecture theatres! This event is supported by FiLiA and Southall Black Sisters.


Institute of Education UCL

20 Bedford Way

London, WC1H 0AL


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.

This event is supported by FiLiA and Southall Black Sisters.

9am Doors open.

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

11.30-1pm Panels

Women’s voices in education Chair: Kathleen Stock, Alice Sullivan, Judith Suissa, Jo Phoenix & Raquel Rosario Sanchez

Teaching about sex and gender in schools Chair: Michelle Shipworth, Shereen Benjamin, Tamasine Preece, Kiri Tunks & Michele Moore

Schooling of girls’ minds and bodies Chair: Gemma Moss, Stella O’Malley, Katie Alcock & Victoria Smith

The global history of women’s access to education Chair: Miriam David, Maryam Namazie, Prof Jane Martin & Dr Amy North

Women, education, and work Chair: Stephanie Bird, Prof Senia Paseta, Ann Henderson & Audrey Ludwig  

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

2.30pm Interactive workshops. Please scroll down for the full list.

4pm Refreshments, tea, coffee and pastries.

4.30-5.30pm Closing plenary Ali Ceesay, Helen Joyce & Julie Bindel

5.30pm Cashless bar open until late

5.30-6.30pm Networking rooms

7pm Cinema Screening of docufilm Adult Human Female, including Q&A with film makers Dee O’Neill & Michael Wayne #InsideFilm

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

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.


1 SISTERS SALON, BRIGHTON Creating women-only space for community activism. (Women only session) An interactive, women-only workshop with the organisers of Brighton Rise Up campaign and Brighton Sisters Salon. A chance to discuss and share experiences and ideas for: bringing women together in your local area; raising concerns with your local council and public services; gathering evidence on women’s needs; supporting each other for successful campaigning.

2 NIA Channelling Anger into Activism. Join Taryn & Vicki from nia to explore topics such as the politics and functions behind anger and take a look at activism, safety and rights. We will provide materials for you to create your own placards.

3 THE OXFORD FEMINIST UNION, CAMBRIDGE RADICAL FEMINIST NETWORK & BRISTOL’S WOMEN TALK BACK Putting it into practice: how to organise against misogyny in universities. A practical session on feminist organising within educational settings for those interested in learning more about how we run and starting their own group. We will ask: what is it like to run a society within universities today? What can we achieve? What do you need to consider when creating your own?

4 GET THE L OUT & LABRYS LIT BOOK CLUB Organising for lesbian rights (Lesbian only session). Until we win! Lesbian organising and its challenges. After a presentation of the way some lesbian groups organise and the challenges they often face, participants will discuss in smaller groups their own experiences with lesbian organising and activism.

5 WITH WOMAN Birth, Feminism and Maternity Care. Birth is a feminist issue. We will look at why the centring of the sexed body is vital in maternity care, through the lens of language, women’s authoritative knowledge and the tensions in the aspiration towards woman-centred care in a medical model.

6 MERCHED CYMRU Girls need best friends. Ali Morris and Joanne Payton will debut the ‘Best Friend’s Handbook’ pilot project they are launching in Wales. The project provides resources to help girls support each other against violence in the home and in relationships.

7 DR SHONAGH DILLON & PROF SARAH PEDERSEN Gender-Critical Research. For those who are undertaking or are interested in starting GC research. How to find support and sisterhood; asserting academic freedom; disseminating your research findings in academic and non-academic spaces. Led by Dr Shonagh Dillon, her thesis title: #TERFBigotTransphobe – we found the Witch, burn her! and Prof Sarah Pederson, author of The Politicization of Mumsnet.

8 MEN AT WORK We Have To talk with Our Boys. Having Constructive Dialogues with Boys & Young Men around Being Part of The Solution to Misogyny’.

9 THE RADICAL NOTION & CENTRE FOR WOMEN’S THOUGHT Why are women oppressed? This workshop will be based around small group work and plenary feedback and discussion. Together we will work through a number of questions in order to explore the reason for the oppression of women, including ‘What is oppression?’ ‘Is oppression the same as discrimination?’ ‘What is the function of this system?’ ‘Who does it benefit and how?’ and ‘What is the role of biology in this system?’ The aim will be to develop a structural account of women’s oppression which synthesises a materialist class based analysis with the insights of radical feminism.

10 WINNING CHANGE IN TRADE UNIONS The how-to-guide to women organising in your trade union. Join experienced TU activists, Kiri Tunks, Diane Jones & others. This workshop will explore: How to find out what your Union’s policies are and how to change or improve them. Understanding current union structures and how to utilise them. Understanding why knowledge of the Law is important to support activity eg Equality Act and Health and Safety at Work. Kiri Tunks is a Past President of the National Education Union, winner of the Annie Higdon Award and co-founder and director of Woman’s Place UK.

11 SPACE INTERNATIONAL & HOPE CAMPAIGN Educating Society on the Reality of the Sex Trade and Why Abolition is the Only Way Forward. There is a debate raging in the UK and elsewhere on how we tackle the harms of the sex trade. Some say ‘Sex Work” should be decriminalised and the women treated as “workers”. Others including SPACE international and many other Organisations say we should abolish prostitution as there Is NO such thing as “Safety” in the sex trade. Julie Swede will discuss the different approaches including the Nordic Model and speak from her own perspective on why we need to fight for abolition in the UK and beyond. Julie will also be joined by Harriet Wistrich to speak about the HOPE (History Of Prostitution Expunged) campaign.

12 RAHILA GUPTA & MARYAM NAMAZIE Bringing the revolution home: Iran and Rojava. Maryam Namazie and Rahila Gupta will talk about the revolutions taking place in Iran and Rojava where women are driving the change. Their workshop will be full of practical and unexpected ideas on how you can provide solidarity to the women and bridge the political, psychological and geographical distance between you and them.

13 BEC WONDERS & EMMA DOLAN Feminist Poster-Making Workshop. Join textile artist Emma Dolan and historian Dr Bec Wonders in this collaborative feminist poster-making workshop. We will begin with a brief history about the feminist politics of print and get inspired by archival examples of posters, slogans and banners. The rest of the workshop will then provide a supportive open space to create our own posters and placards using accessible materials. Together, we will honour and continue the legacy of feminist print culture and take control of our political messaging. Get involved, get creative and spell it out on paper!

14 KEEP PRISONS SINGLE SEX Join Kate Coleman & others. The erasure of sex in the criminal justice system. At every level within the criminal justice system we see the overwhelming importance of sex. Yet the ability to identify, point to and name sex is being lost. In this session, KPSS Director Kate Coleman will lead a panel discussing a range of issues to do with safeguarding, risk, the prison service and policing.

15 FAIR PLAY FOR WOMEN Organising in Sport. This workshop is for anyone who wants to keep sport safe and fair for women and girls. Sport matters – for health and wellbeing, for enjoyment and achievement, for self-esteem, and for career opportunities. We’re starting to make real progress now in restoring the female category in sport to be for those born female. If you want to help, sign up and join us. It’s an interactive session to share information and generate plans for action.

16 LEGAL FEMINIST Conflict of Legal Rights – How to balance In practice. Chaired by discrimination law solicitor Audrey Ludwig (@AudreySuffolk), we have a multi specialist expert legal panel comprising: Sarah Vine KC (@SarahvAtDSC) , leading criminal barrister at Doughty Street Chambers speaking on the conflict of rights surrounding allegations of hate crime. Elizabeth McGlone (@LizMcG_emplaw), expert employment law solicitor and Partner at didilaw, speaking on the conflict of rights at work. Alice de Coverley (@Grays_Ink), noted education law barrister at 3 Paper Building (appearing prerecorded) speaking on the conflict of rights when making and implementing policy in education settings. We will then discuss a practical scenario (incorporating all these areas of law) with attendees, to make the session interactive.The aim is to equip attendees will better understanding and some tools to assist in recognising potential conflicts and how to resolve them.

17 SEX MATTERS Sex and gender in schools: what parents can do. Join Maya Forstater & Naomi Cunningham from the Sex Matters team to talk about why parent power matters and what parents can expect when they engage with their children’s schools on issues of sex and gender, including curriculum and policies on single-sex spaces, sports and social transition. We will draw on our published analysis of the relevant laws, regulations and safeguarding principles, as set out in our guidance for schools and our new checklist for the DfE on what its forthcoming guidance needs to say.

18 SOUTHALL BLACK SISTERS Selma Taha & Hannana Siddique. MVAWG in Black and minority communities. This workshop will discuss domestic and sexual violence, harmful practices such as forced marriage and honour-based abuse, and immigration and no recourse to public fund (NRPF) problems. This will include current campaigns to reform the law on NRPF and to introduce measures to address femicide, such as ‘Benaz’s Law’ which prevents the use of cultural and religious defences to justify murder or abuse in the name of honour or other misogynist beliefs. It will look at the wider frameworks of intersectionality, violence against women and girls, feminism, and women’s human rights.

19 FOR WOMEN SCOT & MURRAY BLACKBURN MACKENZIE The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: what next?.. On 22 December 2022, the Scottish Parliament passed the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. The Bill will enable anyone aged 16 or over to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate by making a simple statutory declaration. The ruling in the case of For Women Scotland vs the Scottish Ministers clarified that obtaining a GRC changes someone’s sex for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. The Scottish Government and MSPs ignored concerns raised by women about the impact of these proposals on women and vulnerable young people. The parliamentary committee scrutinisng the bill refused to take oral evidence from female survivors of male violence and only invited the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls to give evidence the night before the final debate on the bill. Lisa Mackenzie of Murray Blackburn Mackenzie and Marion Calder of For Women Scotland will reflect on the Bill process, highlighting the work of many women’s groups to raise concerns about the legislation and consider ways in which women can continue to keep up pressure on laws and public policies which have embedded gender self-identification principles to the detriment of the needs and interests of women.

20 FEMINIST DISSENT Rebecca Durrand & Pragna Patel. RSE and the Birmingham Protests: navigating race, religion and gender in the defence of equality. Touching on what were politically motivated fundamentalist protests against the teaching of RSE outside Birmingham schools and elsewhere in 2018, this workshop explores how the themes of race, religion and gender played out. Claims to so called religious freedom are often set against the right to equality of education which has significance for minority girls in particular. In the light of this and widening social divisions and regressive politics, how do we defend the principle of equality from an anti-racist, anti-fundamentalist and feminist standpoint?

21 LABOUR WOMEN’S DECLARATION, CONSERVATIVES FOR WOMEN & LIBERAL VOICE FOR WOMEN Political Activism for Women’s Sex-Based Rights. Tools for political campaigning at the national and local level; inside parties and cross-party. How to tackle some of the likely upcoming minefields this year at Westminster, Holyrood, Senedd and local council levels, and promote the interests of women and girls.


Accessibility: 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.

Creche: 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

Where is the conference taking place? University College London 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.

Security 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

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Conference: Education For Women’s Liberation #ED4WomensLib

We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.