Zainab Naqvi


Doctoral researcher

Birmingham Law School


Contact details


Title of thesis: Big Love or Big Problem? Feminist perspectives on the legal recognition of polygamy in English law

Supervisors:  Dr Rosie Harding

Funding: ESRC



  • LL.B (Hons) Law and French, Coventry University
  • LL.M General, University of Birmingham


I joined the University of Birmingham to read for my Masters in 2012 after being awarded a first class joint honours Law and French degree from Coventry University. During my undergraduate studies, I was the recipient of the Coventry Law School Prize for best performance on the full-time LL.B course for three consecutive years as well as the Oxford University Press Prize.

Whilst reading for my LL.M degree I became fascinated by the presence and voice of women in the Law. This led to my taking several courses on gender theory within a legal and political science context which has influenced both my doctoral research and broader research interests.

Following the completion of my Masters qualification, I joined Birmingham Law School as an Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Centre funded research student.

Doctoral research

PhD title

Big Love or Big Problem? Feminist perspectives onthe legal recognition of polygamy in English law
Supervisor Dr Rosie Harding
Course Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur


My research seeks to examine the viability of incorporating polygamy into the United Kingdom’s legal definition of marriage from a feminist perspective. Such research will be undertaken through a primary comparison of UK law with legal provisions pertaining to polygamy and sex discrimination in Pakistan. The project will also involve a comparative qualitative study of women’s experiences within polygamous and monogamous marriages along with a discussion of any possible reforms to existing law on this area.

Other activities


  • Postgraduate Steering Committee Member of the Graduate Centre for Europe, University of Birmingham
  • Editor of the Birmingham Journal for Europe, University of Birmingham
  • Member PECANS online network

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