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Reimagining gender through equality law: What legal thoughtways do religion and disability offer?

Renz, Flora, Cooper, Davina (2022) Reimagining gender through equality law: What legal thoughtways do religion and disability offer? Feminist Legal Studies, . ISSN 0966-3622. E-ISSN 1572-8455. (doi:10.1007/s10691-021-09481-3) (KAR id:91646)


British equality law protections for sex and gender reassignment have grown fraught as activists tussle over legal and social categories of gender, gender transitioning, and sex. This article considers the future of gender-related equality protections in relation to ‘decertification’ – an imagined reform that would detach sex and gender from legal personhood. One criticism of decertification is that de-formalising gender membership would undermine equality law protections. This article explores how gender-based equality law could operate in conditions of decertification, drawing on legal thoughtways developed for two other protected characteristics in equality law: religion and belief, and disability, to explore the legal responses and imaginaries that these two grounds make available. Religious equality law focuses on beliefs, communities, and practices, deemed to be stable, multivarious, and subject to deep personal commitment. Disability equality law focuses on embodied disadvantage, approached as social, relational, and fluctuating. While these two equality frameworks have considerable limitations, they offer legal thoughtways for gender oriented to both its hierarchies and its expression, including as disavowal.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10691-021-09481-3
Projects: Future of Legal Gender
Uncontrolled keywords: Equality, disability, gender, religion
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Flora Renz
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 12:46 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 11:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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