Dr Charlotte Proudman

Dr Charlotte Rachael Proudman, previous Junior Research Fellow; now Fellow Commoner (Research)

LL.B. (Keele), M.Phil., Ph.D., Associate Researcher., Research Fellow (Cantab). Human Rights Barrister (Lincoln’s Inn); Visiting Researcher (Harvard Law School).

For applicants

I am open to supervising students on dissertations relating to gender inequality and violence against women and girls.


My main research interest is gender equality under the law. While the law is intended to promote equality, laws that regulate women’s lives and bodies can become a mechanism for discrimination. I focus on how the law seeks to regulate female genital mutilation (FGM) in Western nations. In particular, I apply a socio-legal analysis to explore why FGM continues to be performed when it is a criminal offence; why there have been few prosecutions for the practice in Western jurisdictions; and the impact of high-profile cases upon FGM-performing communities’ attitudes towards the practice and the criminal justice system. Empirical research is qualitative, interviewing stakeholders responsible for designing and enforcing the law and women from FGM-performing communities. The aim of my research is to contribute to the lacuna in the literature and to have an impact upon policy thereby helping to better safeguard those at risk. My interest in FGM stems from my role as a human rights barrister representing women and girls at risk of FGM and I have advised the government on legislative changes.

  • Fellow Commoner (Research)
  • Former Junior Research Fellow