Affirmative Action and the Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality

by | Dec 19, 2017

International Conference on Affirmative Action and the Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality

22nd- 23rd September, 2018


Tamil Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirappalli

in collaboration with

Oxford Human Rights Hub, Oxford University, United Kingdom

Call for Papers

On 2015 the United Nations adopted a resolution which laid down 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for “transforming our world” by 2030. The 5th goal in the list was “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” (Goal 5).  Under this broad goal, the resolution also proposes specific targets, including “…full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership [for women] at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life”.  

One of the most direct legislative or policy intervention that can be made by States to achieve Goal 5 of SDG is affirmative action (AA) – positive discrimination in favour of women in leadership positions either through reserved quotas or through institutional preferences. Despite its success in increasing participation of women in leadership position, AA remains controversial. Critics oppose AA as being anti-meritocratic, discriminatory against men and paying inadequate attention to the economic as well as social disparity between different classes of women. Moreover, countries that have AA policies are still grappling with deeply entrenched gender inequalities, leading some to question the overall value of AA.

This conference proposes to bring together scholars, practitioners and students who work in law, statistics, economics, sociology, anthropology, public policy, gender studies and other social sciences, to explore the link between AA policies that favour women in positions of leadership and achieving target 5.5. of the SDGs. It will examine the following themes:

  • Efficacy of Affirmative Action in Achieving Gender Equality and Goal 5 of the SDGs
  • Affirmative Action for Women and Human Rights Law
  • Reservation Policies vs. Preference Policies
  • Intersectionality: Situating Caste, Class and Race in the Affirmative Action dialogue
  • Affirmative Action in Non-Political Institutions
  • Affirmative Action: Strategies for Mobilisation

The conference will be held on 22nd- 23rd September, 2018 at Tamil Nadu National Law University in Tiruchirappalli, India. The conference will run over the 2 days with parallel sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening.  

Due to the limited finances available for the conference, participants are expected to secure own funds for airfare and accommodation. Local transportation and meals will be provided to the presenters. Should you require additional assistance, please write to us at

1. Call for Papers 19nd December, 2017
2. Last date for submission of abstracts 10th March, 2018
3. Intimation of  selection of abstracts 30th March, 2018
4. Last date for submission of draft papers 1st July, 2018
5. Conference Dates 22nd- 23rd September, 2018

Please email your abstract as an MS-Word (.doc, .docx) file without any identifying references to with the subject-line “abstract submission”. Please attach a separate document that contains the title of the proposed paper, name of the author(s) and name of the institution(s). Abstracts are due by 11:59 PM GMT on 10 March 2018. Abstracts must not exceed 800 words. Co-authorship is allowed.

Abstracts will be selected through a double blind peer-review process. Selection will be based on originality, method, relevance to the conference theme as well as geographical and gender balance. Only one abstract per author will be considered. Selected authors will be notified in due course. Draft papers will be due on July 1st, 2017.

Select conference papers will be published in a special edition of the TNNLS Law Review.  For clarifications, please write to

You can find more info on the sub-themes and conference here. 

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