Women and the Law

Paperback | October 1, 1997

bySandra Fredman

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As the millennium draws to a close, it is clear that equality between men and women remains a pipe-dream. Thus argues Sandra Fredman in her stimulating, new book on women and the law. Women's pay still lags significantly behind that of men; and women continue to congregate in low status, lowpaid jobs. Yet men and women are now formally equal before the law: indeed, legislation positively outlawing discrimination has been in force for over two decades both in the UK and the European Union. The key question asked by the author is: Why has the law had so little impact? The answer, theauthor argues, lies in the structure of the law itself. In a wide-ranging examination of sources drawn from political theory, social history and law, the first part of the book develops a critical framework to illuminate the limitations of the law in addressing women's disadvantaged status. Inparticular, the author unmask the apparent objectivity and neutrality of law, exposing the assumptions which have systematically impeded women's progress. Part II of the book applies this critique to a detailed examination of key legal issues in the UK and EU, with illuminating references to the lawin North America and Australia. The result is an original and incisive analysis of pressing legal issues ranging from low pay, sexual harassment and flexible working to parenting rights and reverse discrimination. The book locates women's role in the family as a key contributory factor to theircontinued disadvantage within the paid workforce. Yet, in signalling the way forward, the author rejects the notion that the aim is simply to slot more women into existing structures. Instead of expecting women to conform to structures which exclude and devalue caring responsibilities, she argues,real change will only occur if paid work is restructured so that both men and women can be active participants in family life as well as in the paid workforce. The book does not, however, offer single dimensional solutions. In particular, the very difficult conflicts of interest which can arisebetween women, on grounds such as class or rase, are directly confronted.

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As the millennium draws to a close, it is clear that equality between men and women remains a pipe-dream. Thus argues Sandra Fredman in her stimulating, new book on women and the law. Women's pay still lags significantly behind that of men; and women continue to congregate in low status, lowpaid jobs. Yet men and women are now formally...

Sandra Fredman is a Fellow and Tutor in Law at Exeter College, Oxford. She is the co-author of two books on labour law (see below), and lectures on labour law, and on women and the law.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:466 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.02 inPublished:October 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198763239

ISBN - 13:9780198763239

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Table of Contents

One: Theoretical perspectivesTwo: Historical perspectives: Women at LawThree: Historical perspectives: Women at WorkFour: Women's PayFive: "Women's Work"Six: EnforcementSeven: Pregnancy and ParenthoodEight: Women and the State: Welfare LawNine: Unpaid Work in the HomeTen: Diversity in Unity: Sex, Race and ClassEleven: Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

'This is a competent book...it includes a useful potted history and a sketch of just what has, and has not, been accomplished in terms of changing women's situation.'