Course 2023-2024 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English

Class timetable
Exam timetable
Go to class group/s: 31
MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  IUS/09)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Synchronous Blended: Lessons in synchronous mode in the classroom (for a maximum of one hour per credit in remote mode)

Suggested background knowledge

It is recommended to have attended first year courses in constitutional/public law and private law.

Mission & Content Summary


Gender biases in contemporary societies are now explored across many fields in social sciences. Awareness of the position of men, women and LGBTI persons in societies is increasingly relevant to understanding political, economic, and social dynamics. Law has been a pioneer in studies concerning the identification of roles and rules in organized society, bene ting from different disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, history, and economics. Such a rich and culturally dispersed background is relevant to understanding law, which will be the ultimate focus of the course Gender Law and Women’s Rights. This course explores women’s rights by framing the recognition of their position in polities through the lenses of gender awareness. This course focuses on women not as an isolated subject in contemporary societies but rather as contributors to economic, social, cultural, and political developments. In such a context, students are encouraged to develop a critical look at societal dynamics to understand and detect the roots of rules, attitudes, and behaviors that define the role of women as social, economic and political actors.


Are women’s rights sufficiently protected in contemporary democratic societies? How gender discrimination and/or imbalance should be addressed by law? The course explores those issues by addressing the history of the recognition of women's rights and the contribution of women's studies in understanding how the legal system addresses (or fails to address) social issues raised by the increasing participation of women in the cultural, political and economic life of a country.

The course others reading of women’s rights through the lenses of gender discrimination, thus paying attention to the usefulness of gender studies to understand women's claims for recognition and protection of their content-specific rights.


Therefore, the course will address:

The history of recognizing women’s rights at both the domestic and the international level.

Discrimination based on sex and gender.

The legal protection against gender-based violence.

The legal guarantees women are entitled to in the specific contexts they live and operate

(political, economic, everyday life).



The course will also host short sessions dedicated to specific topics (subjected to change every year). This year the topicals will be:

· Topical 1: Women and private law protection

· Topical 2: The Istanbul Convention Against Violence Against Women

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

1. Understand women’s rights as individual legal positions

2. Describe how women advocated and defended their rights in contemporary society by also

using gender literature

3. Identify the tensions between some classical models of organization/division of labor and

public responsibility and the role of women in societies

4. Explain how law can effectively correct imbalances in the role and position of women in societies

5. Distinguish between gender issues broadly defined and women’s issues

6. Understand the rights of women to defend themselves from any form of violence


At the end of the course student will be able to...

1. Identify legal situations in which law should take into consideration the specific position of women.

2. Compare the framing of legal issues before and after women’s successful vindication of their rights.

3. Interpret the law by using a critical gender approach, by identifying the peculiar position of women within the broadly defined gender issues.

4. Develop arguments to identify and challenge gender-based violence.



Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


Guest speakers from different fields (i.e. economics, history) will be invited to give talks to illustrate the position of women in societies.

Group assignments will be used to develop original research path concerning specific rights (es. workers' rights; political rights).

Role playing will be used as experiments to identify and solve problems raised by gender awareness.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Students will sit a written exam which will consist of one open question and 5 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 1 hour. It will count for the 80% of the grade.


The written exam is designed to test the knowledge and understanding of the ILO as well as to develop arguments to effectively defend women’s rights.


The group assignment, which will count for the 20% of the grade, is designed to test students’ ability to compare the framing of a given legal issue with or without gender awareness.


The in-class role-playing works on a voluntary basis and is designed to interpret the law by using a critical gender approach, and will be part of a continuous assessment of class participation which is relevant for achieving the cum laude in the final grade.

Teaching materials




I. Spigno, V. Scotti, J. Panalva da Silva, The Rights of Women in Comparative Constitutional Law, London, Routlege (chapters 3, 4 and 10) 2023.


R. Rubio Marin, Gender Constitutionalism and Women's Citizenship, Cambridge, CUP (chapters 1, 3 and 4), 2022.


Case law and further materials will be indicated and made available to students before the start of the class.

Last change 04/06/2023 17:29