Equity has always had a complex relationship with women and with ‘the feminine’. In its earliest incarnations, the role of trusts law was conceived of as being a means of protecting women from the social mores of the time. Briefly put, a settlor could settle property on trust in a way that would protect the rights of the woman to use the trust property, whereas if the property had belonged entirely to the woman then it would have passed to her husband when she married. The trust offered protection for the woman. However, other commentators have questioned whether or not equity really did serve women so well, as is discussed below.
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