Jämlikhet mellan kvinnor och män i EG-rätten : en feministisk analys

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The thesis describes the development of the enactment of European Community Law in the field of sexual equality during the period of 1957-1997. With post-modern feminist theory as its point of departure, and with post-structuralist linguistics as method, it then analyses the argumentation of the EC Court of Justice in its interpretation of EC legislation during the same period. My aim is to examine in how far Community legislation implements a sexual equality with a genuine substance that exists not merely formally but also in reality. The thesis is divided into three parts; theory and method, EC legislation, and the practice of the Court of Justice. The first part begins with general definitions of the key legal terms direct and indirect discrimination and formal and substantive equality. It continues with a description of what a post-modern, feminist perspective means for one´s view of knowledge, of human beings, of the normative effect of legal system and also of sex. Subsequently there follows a historical survey of ideas concerning sexual norms in the thinking of social philosophy, which aims to crystallize from the work of some highly influential social philosophers some key sexual norms that are still operative in the argu- mentation of the Court of Justice. The method for the argumentation analysis assumes that language with the purpose of creating meaning is built up around sex-coded, hierarchically organized dichotomies and that the prevalent sexual order is thus constantly re-created in the logic of language. The second part contains a chronological description of all 33 pieces of legislation that were enacted in the field of jurisprudence during the period 1957-1997. In the third part I present a critical argumentation analysis of all of the Court´s 113 rulings during the period I have studied. Here I show how the Court fitted the key legal terms direct and indirect discrimination and formal and substantive equality into a sex-coded hierarchically organized logic. The result was that the prohibition of sexual discrimination became inoperative as soon as discrimination referring explicitly to the sex and civil status of women had ceased to exist, i.e., as soon as the language had become formally sexually neutral.


  • Karin Lundström
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law


  • social law, socialrätt, deconstruction., EU-rätt, post-modernism, feminist legal theory, gender-studies, anti-discrimination, masculinity, European law, EU law
Translated title of the contributionEquality between women and men in EC-law. A feminist analysis.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 Mar 20
  • Iustus förlag
Print ISBNs91-7678-397-9
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1999-03-20 Time: 10:15 Place: Kulturens aula, Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Nielsen, Ruth Title: Professor Affiliation: Copenhagen ---