Manisha Mathews

Photo of Manisha Mathews

Birmingham Law School
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Qualifications

  • LLB Law (University of Leicester)
  • LLM International Human Rights Law (University of Leicester)

Biography

I was awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship to complete my LLB Law degree at the University of Leicester in 2017. I subsequently completed my Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law at the University of Leicester in 2018 and graduated with a Distinction. In 2019, I was awarded the College of Arts and Law Doctoral Scholarship and became a PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham.

Prior to starting my PhD, I was appointed a Seminar Leader in Criminal Law at the University of Leicester during 2019 where I taught second-year undergraduate Law students. In 2021, I became a Seminar Leader in Equity, Trusts, Wills and Formalities at the University of Birmingham where I presently teach third-year undergraduate Law students. In addition, I currently help run the Gender and the Law research group with Dr Charlotte Bendall at the University of Birmingham.

Teaching

  • Equity, Trusts, Wills and Formalities (Birmingham Law School)

Doctoral research

PhD title
Title of thesis: Including “Paternity” As a Ground of Discrimination under s.4 of the Equality Act 2010 and Art. 14 of the Human Rights Act 1998
Supervisors: Dr Meghan Campbell and Dr Charlotte Bendall
Course
Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur

Research

The focus of my research centres upon advocating for the inclusion of “paternity” as a ground of discrimination under s.4 of the Equality Act 2010 and Art.14 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The current legal framework governing paternity leave within England & Wales is inefficient at meeting the needs of modern fathers and contemporary families. This can be attributed to the weaknesses found within employment legislation that prevents paternity leave from being viewed as a day-one right in the same way maternity leave is perceived, replacement pay being so low to the extent that fathers find it more reasonable to continue working to support their families and that the length of leave is too short for fathers to strongly bond with their children. My research aims to reframe the debate surrounding paternity rights as being an issue relating to equality and non-discrimination. Firstly, the differential legal treatment of mothers and fathers from an employment law standpoint is discriminatory. Secondly, it has further enabled a “workplace culture” in which fathers are routinely advised that, if they do not prioritise workplace obligations over childcare responsibility, this could result in workplace harassment, being mocked as “soft” for undertaking typically female-oriented labour and negative feedback over their work and work commitment. My research aims to challenge the discrimination fathers experience and advocates for the inclusion of stronger equality law provisions for fathers to rely upon.

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