This is the text of the keynote lecture delivered at the launch of Black, Lynsey and Dunne, Peter (eds). Law and Gender in Modern Ireland. Oxford: Hart, delivered 13th September 2019, Department of Law, Maynooth University, Ireland. The lecture locates the book within the context of rapid, radical transformation in gender law and politics in Ireland, highlighting some of the issues which have been the focus of activism and/or reform. The lecture goes on to outline some of the challenges which arise in the legislative pursuit of gender equality including the tension between respecting agency and choice and curbing exploitative and/or gender disadvantaging practices. Comparisons are also made with legislative initiatives in neighbouring Britain. The lecture concludes with some reflections on the interplay of sex and gender in law and public debate and their embedding in the constitutional creation of the modern Irish State.