Why Should Feminist Jurisprudence Be a Compulsory Course at Law School

26 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2009

See all articles by Prashant R. Dahat

Prashant R. Dahat

National Law Institute University, Bhopal

Date Written: April 14, 2009


Feminist jurisprudence is a general term that encompasses many theories and approaches based on examining gender, sexuality, and power in relation to the legal system. As a field of legal scholarship and theory, feminist jurisprudence had its beginnings in the 1960s. By the 1990s it had become an important and vital part of the law, informing many debates on sexual and domestic violence, inequality in the workplace, and gender-based discrimination at all levels of U.S. society. The feminist political movement began in the nineteenth century with a call for female suffrage. At a convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, a group of women and men drafted and approved the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments. This document, modeled on the language and structure of the Declaration of Independence, was a bill of rights for women, including the right to vote. Throughout the late 1800s, feminist leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were persistent critics of male society's refusal to grant women political and social equality. In the mid-nineteenth century, many state legislatures passed married women's separate property acts. These acts gave women the legal right to retain ownership and control of property they brought into the marriage. Until these enactments a husband was permitted to control all property, which often led to the squandering of a wife's estate. Finally, when the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920, women gained voting rights in the United States. Feminist Jurisprudence is related with four kinds and specially enumerated with a particular part of society that is Women, and deals all matter relating to Women. A philosophy of law based on the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes, feminist thought began during The Enlightenment with such thinkers as Lady Mary Wortley Montage and the Marquis de Condorcet championing women's education and many liberals, such as Jeremy Bentham, demanding equal rights for women in every sense. One of the early modern proponents of feminist themes was Mexican nun, Juana Ines de la Cruz (1651-1695), particularly in her essay entitled 'Reply to Sor Philotea'. The first scientific society for women was founded in Middleberg, a city in the south of the Dutch republic, in 1785. Journals for women which focused on issues like science became popular during this period as well. Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is one of the first works that can unambiguously be called feminist, although by modern standards her comparison of women to the nobility, the elite of society, coddled, fragile, and in danger of intellectual and moral sloth, does not sound like a feminist argument. Wollstonecraft believed that both sexes contributed to this situation and took it for granted that women had considerable power over men.

Keywords: feminist jurisprudence, indian position, conditions of women under India Laws, jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Dahat, Prashant Ramdas, Why Should Feminist Jurisprudence Be a Compulsory Course at Law School (April 14, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1412405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1412405

Prashant Ramdas Dahat (Contact Author)

National Law Institute University, Bhopal ( email )

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Bhopal - 462044. ( M.P.), Madhya Pradesh 462044
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