Gender Equality in the Different Fields of Private Law

  1. Amalia Blandino
  2. Gabriele Carapezza Figlia
  3. Letizia Coppo
  4. Snežana Dabić Nikićević
  5. Katarina Dolović Bojić
Gender-Competent Legal Education
  1. Dragica Vujadinović (ed. lit.)
  2. Mareike Fröhlich (ed. lit.)
  3. Thomas Giegerich (ed. lit.)

Publisher: Springer Suiza

ISBN: 978-3-031-14359-5

Year of publication: 2023

Pages: 505-540

Type: Book chapter


In the field of private law, gender inequality takes many different shapes. It may at times be easily noticed from the text of the legal rules, for instance, when certain legal rights are reserved for members of a certain gender (i.e. independency to enter a marriage) or when they are available to both genders but in a discriminatory manner (i.e. men inherit twice as much as women). However, in many legal systems equality is guaranteed by law, but inequality still appears in practice. This may be seen from the fact that, on average, land assets are much more often owned by men or that a higher percentage of men run a business. Various social factors may induce gender inequality, like stereotypical division of gender roles in society (i.e. men as breadwinners and women as caregivers) or the persistence of patriarchal customs and practices (i.e. women should renounce their inheritance rights in favour of male inheritors). The consequences of such factors may also be felt in the field of tort law, especially when it comes to damages suffered by women performing unpaid domestic work or indirect damages suffered by women who have to provide the “informal support” for the person who suffered serious bodily harm that resulted in a situation of dependency. Finally, in the field of contract law, the most difficult tasks seem to be to reconcile the prohibition of discrimination with the freedom of contract and to determine the most suitable legal consequence in case of discrimination.