Educating Women, an inter-disciplinary conference

Thursday 18 July 2013 | Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent UK

There have been issues around women and education since before Christine de Pizan wrote in 1404 that 

"Not all men (and especially the wisest) share the opinion that it is bad for women to be educated. But it is very true that many foolish men have claimed this because it displeased them that women knew more than they did."

Progress since then has been varied. Lady Margaret Beaufort founded two Cambridge colleges in the early 1500s but it is less than 60 years since women were first awarded degrees from Cambridge. In the UK, although STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are integral to our economic success this is still a male dominated sector and in the last 10 years there has been no improvement in the uptake of women in mathematical sciences – 38% of students – or engineering and technology, where just 15% of students are women. Globally while the gender gap has narrowed over recent years, statistics from UNESCO in 2011 showed that girls are still at a disadvantage: in South and West Asia for example only 1 in 2 women can read or write compared with 7 out of 10 men. 

The idea for this conference, which will consider the education of and by women from the middle ages to the present day, came from a mother and daughter’s interests in education and early modern women. Scholars from all disciplines are invited to discuss issues around educating women (and girls) with a view to understanding the realities. 

Guidelines for submission of paper/symposia abstracts 

Abstracts for papers should not exceed 300 words. Symposia proposals and submissions from postgraduate students are welcome. The conference language is English. Possible topics could include (but are not restricted to): 
  • informal and formal education of women and girls 
  • pre-modern scholarly women 
  • attitudes to educating/educated women 
  • global inequalities 
  • girls, women and lifelong learning 
  • women leaders in education 
  • feminist/anti-feminist influences on educating women 

All abstracts for papers or other suggested presentations must be submitted by Monday 28 January 2013 to 

Acceptance will be confirmed by Thursday 28 February 2013. 

It is hoped to publish a book of papers from the conference. 

For questions and enquiries about submissions, please contact or 

Further details about the conference will follow.