Dr Rachel Alsop

Lecturer, Centre for Women's Studies at University of York


Dr Rachel Alsop's research interests within the field of Women’s and Gender Studies are broad and underpinned by a critical engagement with gender theories and a commitment to social justice. Her current research focuses on contemporary developments in feminist theory; issues of body image (particularly in relation to aesthetic surgery); gender based violence and refugee and migrant women; and girls’ rights. She has a new book out in 2020 (co-written with Kathleen Lennon),'Gender Theory in Troubled Times', published by Polity.

Rachel's work has included:

The State of Girls’ Rights in the UK

My research with Plan UK culminated in the launch of the report The State of Girls’ Rights in the UK in September 2016. The research combines quantitative and qualitative methods to provide unprecedented insight into what it means to grow up as a girl in the UK. Across a range of themes and indicators, the research demonstrates how girls face multiple barriers in accessing their rights. The report was covered by all of the major UK news outlets and has been used byPlan UK in its successful lobbying of the government to extend sex and relationship education (SRE) in schools.The findings were presented at the 2016 Labour and Conservative party conferences; the 2017 Women and Equalities Select Committee review into the Sustainable Development Goals cited the report as one of the key background documents for the review; the report was also presented in 2017 at the Senedd in Wales alongside the Full Circle’s manifesto for girls in Wales, and is already being used by Councillors and local services to campaign for girls’ rights. A photographic exhibition of images from the report was shown at the Leeds City screen BBC Big Screen as part of International Women's Day celebrations in 2017, and the research was featured on Radio 4 Woman's Hour as part of a special edition from Hull for Hull City of Culture, Women of the World Festival 2017.

Rachel joined the Centre for Women’s Studies in 2018 as a Lecturer and Programme Director of the MA Women’s and Gender Studies (GEMMA). She has over 20 years experience of teaching and researching in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, working previously at the University of Hull as co-Director of the Centre for Gender Studies. She has a BA in European Studies (specialising in Sociology and German) from the University of Bradford (1990) and a PhD examining the impact of German unification on women’s employment in East Germany, also from the University of Bradford (1995). She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Editor of the Journal of Gender Studies.