CFP: 5th International Conference on Gender Studies

In partnership with Intellect

Please note that the conference date is provisional and subject to change due to the epidemiological situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not open a fee payment system until we are sure we can host the event. Please do not book flights and accommodation in the UK before the conference date is confirmed by the organiser.

13 November 2021

Leeds, United Kingdom

Venue: Queens Hotel Leeds, City Square, Leeds, LS1 1PJ


Dr Audra Diers-Lawson, Leeds Beckett University, UK

Are women better crisis leaders? A reflection on lessons learned about gendered, leadership, and communication from the Covid-19 pandemic

Erene Hadjiioannou, Therapy Leeds, Leeds, UK

‘Sexual Violence and Gender: Findings from Psychotherapy in the UK’


All recent research on gender demonstrates that patriarchy is alive and well and that both men and women suffer from patriarchal perceptions of expected roles. For example, women still face difficulties and inequality of opportunities for jobs, and when equality is achieved and they enter a certain industry; they face difficulties in being promoted to managerial positions (glass ceiling). On the other hand, men face difficulties in embracing roles traditionally seen as feminine such as staying at home with children or applying for paternal leaves, which are still approved more to women than men. 

When it comes to gender perceptions the situation becomes even more complicated because if one refuses to identify with the sex assigned at birth and chooses to express gender differently, patriarchy kicks in even stronger and these individuals face not just discrimination in access to employment but also public mocking and even assaults. It is stating the obvious to say that many countries in the world still ban homosexuality and that LGBT individuals and couples are not just discriminated but also targets of public campaigns to ban them from ever having the same rights as heterosexual couples such as marriage and adopting children (before they even asked for these rights), assaults, threats and intimidation, etc.

The question we can ask is how far have we got in achieving not just gender equality (for the vast amount of research testifies we have indeed not got far albeit lots of progress has been made), but how far have we got in achieving an understanding of gender? What kind of culture needs to be created to embrace diversity beyond positive laws (that exist only in some countries), but a true diversity where nobody will think they should have the right to question someone’s self-perception and self-expression, and a culture where all genders will be equal?

This conference, therefore, invites papers in the following (but not limited to) themes,

Definitions of gender

Positive practices of gender equality legislation

Positive practices of cultural and social understandings of genders

Discriminatory practices

Feminist studies

Women’s studies

Masculinity studies

LGBT rights

Women, LGBT identities and patriarchal society

Men, LGBT identities and patriarchal society

Transgender identities

Discrimination against LGBT and transgender people

Gender and Culture

Gender activism: case studies

Personal stories and biographies

Submissions of abstracts (up to 500 words) with an email contact should be sent to by 15 September 2021. We will confirm the registration dates once we confirm that we can host the conference, which depends on the situation with the pandemic.

The Conference fee is £180, and it includes,

The registration fee

Conference bag and folder with materials

Access to the newsletter, and electronic editions of the Centre

Meals and drinks

WLAN during the conference

Certificate of attendance


A special issue of journals will be edited and published in an Intellect journal. The topic of the special journal and the journal selection depends on conference submissions and the review process. From last year’s conferences, two special issues are currently being edited,

The Journal of Popular Television (Intellect), special issue topic ‘Women and Girls in Popular Television in the Age of Post-Feminism’ (eds. M. Topić & M. J. Cunha)

Facta Universitatis: Series Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology and History (University of Niš), special issue topic ‘#metoo movement: past, present and what next? (ed. M. Topić). The journal issue can be found here:

Participants are responsible for finding funding to cover transportation and accommodation costs during the whole period of the conference. This applies to both presenting and non-presenting participants. We will not discriminate based on the origin and/or methodological/paradigmatic approach of prospective conference participants.

The conference is a grassroots initiative led by Dr Martina Topić ( Martina can be contacted on

The conference usually has five to six panels, and we can organise parallel sessions for panels (up to two parallel sessions per day).

Visa Information

The Centre will issue a Visa letter to participants with UK entry clearance requirement.


Audra Diers-Lawson: In her career of more than 20 years, Dr Diers-Lawson has been a practitioner, researcher and instructor in strategic communication with an emphasis on crisis response and brand management. She is also the Chair of the Crisis Communication Division of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA). As a practitioner, Dr Diers-Lawson has worked across industries like IT, health, agriculture and the public sector in multinational, national, regional and local contexts. For example, she worked with the Applied Materials Shared Services Division on a global change initiative. She has been a part of many projects like the successful campaign for emergency contraception availability in Texas. Additionally, she has worked with small businesses in the agricultural industry to develop effective integrated marketing campaigns — developing cross-platform public relations and advertising campaigns. She has also lead a team that conducted a strategic communication audit and recommendations for an NHS health trust and part of a team that created a strategic communication toolkit for the European Public Employment Service. As a researcher, Dr Diers-Lawson’s research explores the relationships between socially responsible organisations, crisis prevention or mitigation, and crisis response. As a result, her research focuses heavily on understanding public attitudes and the factors driving behaviour and decision-making.

Erene Hadjiioannou: Erene is an integrative psychotherapist​ with over ten years of experience of working with adults in a variety of settings. She is currently in her private practice, Therapy Leeds, which is an LGBT+ affirmative service. Her specialist area is the impact of sexual violence. Between 2014 and 2018, Erene created and coordinated two specialist services for women with complex needs (offenders, and survivors of sexual violence). Erene incorporates activism into her work, believing that practitioners have a responsibility to create social change in the wider world as well as an individual change in appointments.