Ethnic women

Women's and gender studies research

Explore our work in this area of expertise, which covers topics including women's suffrage, gender and education, and gender inequalities

Our research in this field explores women’s issues and gender issues in a range of social and cultural contexts, in both the past and present – from women's suffrage and the first and second waves of feminism, to the intersections that exist between gender and religion and education, and the ways in which gender is represented in the media.

The outputs from our research are frequently published in leading academic journals, such as Women’s History Review, Feminist Review, the British Journal of Sociology, Gender and Education, and Gender Studies.

Our academics have also contributed to mainstream media coverage of issues within the field of women's studies. For example, Professor June Purvis' work on the suffragette movement received extensive coverage in 2018, during the centenary celebrations of women gaining the vote. Professor Purvis was also an adviser on the feature film Suffragette, starring Meryl Streep, Cary Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter.

Our research covers the following key topics

  • Religion and gender
  • Women’s suffrage
  • Biographies and life stories
  • First and Second Wave Feminism
  • Femininities and alcohol consumption
  • Intersections of feminism and race
  • Gender and education
  • Women & gender in North Africa and Taiwan
  • Women and the state-and-nation building
  • Gender and sexual harassment
  • Making women & gender issues visible
  • Exploring gender inequalities
  • Examining gender representations


Within our research we use qualitative research methods – including documentary analysis, interviews, oral history, ethnography, participant observation – and quantitative research techniques such as analysis of census data and statistics. 


Our work has been funded by major funding organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the British Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Publication highlights

Research groups

Women and Gender Studies Research Group

We're researching women and gender issues in a wide range of historical, social and cultural contexts.