Patriarchy: where did it all begin?

Hosted by the International Inequalities Institute and the Wollstonecraft Society

In-person and online public event (Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building)


Angela Saini

Angela Saini

Bee Rowlatt

Bee Rowlatt



Professor Alpa Shah

Professor Alpa Shah

Award-winning writer Angela Saini gives this year’s Wollstonecraft Society Lecture, sharing from her hotly-anticipated book The Patriarchs.

Join us as Angela reveals the true roots of gendered oppression, and the complex history of how male domination became embedded in societies across the globe. Travelling to the world’s earliest known human settlements, and tracing cultural and political histories from the Americas to Asia, she overturns simplistic universal theories to show that what patriarchy is and how far it goes back really depends on where you are. Despite the push back against sexism and exploitation in our own time, even revolutionary efforts to bring about equality have often ended in failure and backlash. Saini examines what part every one of us plays in keeping patriarchy alive, and asks that we look beyond the old narratives to understand why it persists.

Meet our speakers and chair

Angela Saini is an award-winning British journalist and author based in New York. She presents radio and television programmes, and her writing has appeared in National Geographic, New Scientist, and Wired. She was a spring 2022 Logan Nonfiction Program Fellow and a 2022 fellow of the Humboldt Residency Programme in Berlin.

Bee Rowlatt (@BeeRowlatt) is a writer and public speaker, and a programmer of events at the British Library. Her most recent book In Search of Mary retraced Wollstonecraft’s 1795 treasure hunt over the Skagerrak Sea. She led the campaign for the Wollstonecraft memorial sculpture and is chair of the human rights education charity, the Wollstonecraft Society. 

Alpa Shah (@alpashah001) is Professor of Anthropology and ‘Global Economies of Care’ research programme leader at LSE International Inequalities Institute. She is the author of Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas, a finalist for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing, the New India Book Foundation Prize and winner of the 2020 Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Book Prize.

More about this event

This event will be available to watch on LSE Live. LSE Live is the new home for our live streams, allowing you to tune in and join the global debate at LSE, wherever you are in the world. If you can't attend live, a video will be made available shortly afterwards on LSE's YouTube channel.

The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead critical and cutting-edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

The Wollstonecraft Society (@TheWollSoc) aims to carry Mary Wollstonecraft’s legacy of human rights and equality into the lives of people who don’t know her work. Its goals are to increase awareness of her legacy, and inspire community engagement.

You can order the book The Patriarchs: How Men Came to Rule? (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWollstonecraft

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Patriarchy: where did it all begin?

A video of this event is available to watch at Patriarchy: where did it all begin?

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

LSE Blogs

Many speakers at LSE events also write for LSE Blogs, which present research and critical commentary accessibly for a public audience. Follow British Politics and Policy, the Business Review, the Impact BlogEuropean Politics and Policy and the LSE Review of Books to learn more about the debates our events series present.

Live captions

Automated live captions are available at this live event. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription and is not 100% accurate.


Photographs taken on behalf of LSE are often used on our social media accounts, website and publications. At events, photographs could include broad shots of the audience and lecture theatre, of speakers during the talk, and of audience members as they participate in the Q&A.

If you are photographed participating in an event Q&A but would not like your photograph to be stored for future use, please contact


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1 week after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

WIFI Access

LSE has now introduced wireless for guests and visitors in association with 'The Cloud', also in use at many other locations across the UK. If you are on campus visiting for the day or attending a conference or event, you can connect your device to wireless. See more information and create an account at Join the Cloud.
Visitors from other participating institutions are encouraged to use eduroam. If you are having trouble connecting to eduroam, please contact your home institution for assistance.
The Cloud is only intended for guest and visitor access to wifi. Existing LSE staff and students are encouraged to use eduroam instead.
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.