Gender and Politics in the media

2017 Women & Politics Essay Prize

We are very happy to announce the winners of the 2017 Women & Politics Essay Prize!

Undergraduate students from all over the country were nominated by their supervisors, and the quality of entries was so high that judge, Dr Toni Haastrup awarded a joint first prize.


Isabel Abbs has just completed her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Politics at the University of Edinburgh. Throughout her degree she was particularly interested in studying the power imbalances which create and control marginalised groups, and their intersection. Isabel is now working in a law firm, and ishoping to move on to a post-graduate law degree next year with an ultimate aim of working in policy for international NGOs.

Judge Dr Toni Haastrup’s comments on Isabel’s essay: One of the many strengths of this paper is the ability to maintain its coherent narrative while engaging various policy choices and at the same time maintaining the analytical focus of feminist political economy. Overall, the argument is sophisticated and generally impressive at this level.

Conor Michaels is a recent graduate in Geography and Politics from Oxford Brookes University. He is interested in local and global geographies of power and embodied experiences, particularly in relation to the ways in which bodies are raced, classed, gendered, sexed and sexualised. Conor is keen to continue his studies at postgraduate level in the near future, and to further develop his research interests. He currently works at Clapton Girls’ Academy in Hackney in a role responsible for the school’s Humanities department.

Judge Dr Toni Haastrup’s comments on Conor’s essay: There are two main strengths of the essay: first, it convincingly elaborates on why and how gay rights may be considered human rights; second, the tension inherent in accepting the claim that human rights exists is western or not.


Sarah Vowden staying on at Goldsmiths to do an MA in Research Architecture, a bit of a departure from previous studies but hoping to further her interests in spatial politics.

Judge Dr Toni Haastrup’s comments on Sarah’s essay: “The essay underscores the tendency to erase disabled bodies from protest/resistance narrative, highlighting a blind spot of some feminist activism. It offers a sophisticated reading of feminist (intersectional) texts.”

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