Women in English Family Law: When is Equality Equity?

19 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2011

Date Written: July 31, 2011


The principle that women are equal with men lies at the heart of their emancipation, and underpins the enactment of the Women’s Charter of Singapore. But the question of how that equality is to be reflected in women’s treatment under the law is more complicated. The device usually employed in the law is that of formal equality - on the face of the legislation, or in the case-law, women are to be regarded and assumed to be equal. But it does not follow from the principle that men and women should be treated as equal under the law, that their position in the wider society is in fact equal. This article examines two key aspects of English family law which exemplify the problem of the gap between formal and substantive equality for women: asset division on divorce and post-separation parenting.

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Gillian, Women in English Family Law: When is Equality Equity? (July 31, 2011). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 18-36, July 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1965380

Gillian Douglas (Contact Author)

The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom
+44 (0)2078481367 (Phone)

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