Last Friday CAWP co-hosted a successful conference
with the Chief Executives Forum
in Armagh, entitled 'Women in decision-making roles: promoting the contribution
of women to public life'. Among the speakers were former minister Carmel
Hanna, Queen's professor Margaret Mullett, Bristol city council leader
Diane Bunyan, and Irish Revenue Commissioner Josephine Feehily who spoke
on efforts to increase balanced decision-making in politics, local government,
academia, and other spheres. At the end of the conference a new leadership
development program for senior women managers, to be launched in 2003
by the Chief Executives' Forum, was announced.
This weekend Dr Amanda Sloat of the Institute
of Governance, who is working with CAWP director Yvonne Galligan
on a project on women in EU applicant countries, was profiled on the
cover of The Guardian's 'rise' section for graduate professinals.
The Observatory has been updated to include women county,
city and borough councillors
in the Republic of Ireland.
10 October 2002
CAWP director Yvonne Galligan has returned from two speaking trips abroad.
This week she addressed an International Studies Colloquium at Middlebury
College, Vermont, on women in Irish politics, north and south. Earlier
this month she was one of the speakers at the RCE (Women Citizens of
Europe) Conference in Valentia, Spain, where she addressed participants
on women in public office and higher education.
After the disappointing result for women in the Dáil election and the new
cabinet appointments it was hoped that better news might emerge from
the Seanad election. However the results simply confirm that women's
progress in Irish politics has stalled. Four new women senators were
elected but at the same time three incumbents were defeated and one
retired, leaving the number of elected women senators unchanged. More
The final stage of election 2002 - the election of forty-nine members
of Seanad Éireann
and the appointment by the Taoiseach of an additional eleven - is now
underway, with voting to conclude on 17 July. There are 26 women out
of a total of 151 candidates, or 17 per cent, slightly less than the
18 per cent of women candidates at the Dáil election. Fianna
Fáil has eight women out of 62 candidates (13 per cent), Fine
Gael has nine women out of 40 (23 per cent), and half of Labour's four
candidates are women. Click here for details.
The Centre wishes to congratulate the women recently
elected mayors, council chairs and deputies for 2002-2003. The number
of women mayors has from dropped six to four, including all three of
last year's women deputies. The new women mayors and council chairs
are as follows: Anna Brolly (Armagh), Betty Campbell (Lisburn), Olive
Church (Coleraine), Valerie Kinghan (North Down). There are also four
new women deputies, up from three in 2001: May Beattie (Carrickfergus),
Anne Brolly (Limavady), Barbara Gilliland (Newtownabbey), Catherine
McCambridge (Moyle). Five of these
eight councils also had women in leadership positions last year, and
we hope that some of the remaining thirteen councils might elect women
mayors or deputies next year. However there remain three all-male councils
(Antrim, Ballymoney and Dungannon) where for the time being this is
impossible. All women councillors in Northern Ireland are listed in
CAWP research fellow Duncan Sutherland has returned
from a seminar in Paris on women's political representation. There were
over thirty participants, mostly women legislators and councillors from
France, Spain and the UK, and discussions focused on overcoming the
challenges faced by women politicians in these countries.
There was obvious interest in the recent French parliamentary election
in which women's presence in the Assembly increased only slightly despite
a 2000 law to guarantee parity. Among the factors cited were the fact
that the quota law was not prescriptive but allowed parties to 'buy'
their way out of it by accepting reduced state subsidies (which most
opted to do), the different electoral system from that used in local
elections (where the quota law had a much greater impact in 2001), the
possible effect of arrangements between major parties and their smaller
partners, and the fact that more effective quotas would have to come
from within each party rather than be imposed by the state. The seminar
was organised and hosted by the British Council.
18th June 2002
Now that the new government has been unveiled
in full there is cause for considerable disappointment. Although women
TDs made a slight gain over the 1997 election, their presence in government
decision-making has been reduced to its lowest level in a decade. Aside
from Chief Whip Mary Hanafin only two women sit in cabinet with departmental
responsibilities (Mary Harney and Mary Coughlan). Hanafin will serve
double-duty as one of two women among the seventeen ministers of state.
Click here for a full list
and a comparison with other recent ministries.
21st May 2002
Despite hopes that the number of women TD would increase, partly as
there was considerable media awareness of the issue and the National
Women's Council of Ireland launched a campaign supporting women candidates,
women's gains at the 2002 election were small. Potentially there may
be as many as 23 women TDs out of 166, or 14 percent, but only 21 are
presently confirmed elected. Read
24th April 2002
CAWP director Yvonne Galligan attended the launch
in Dublin yesterday of a campaign by the National Women's Council of
Ireland to raise awareness of women's issues among candidates in the
imminent Irish election. She noted that none of the parties had succeeded
in increasing the numbers of women candidates since the last election
but held out hope that the number of women TDs elected might still increase.
More details of the event are available from both the Irish
Times and the Irish Independent.
of the election call the Centre's election page has been updated with
information about women candidates for the Dáil.
The Irish election section
of the site will be updated during the campaign and
will include coverage of the subsequent senate election. We have a table
listing all women candidates known so far, and after the election new
pages will be added to the Observatory with biographical information
on the new and returned women TDs and senators. Last
year's articles about the UK and Northern Ireland local elections
and results of this year's abortion referendum will still be available
on the Elections page.
18th April 2002
CAWP is very pleased to announce a visiting fellowship
program beginning this year for people interested in pursuing research
in the area of women in politics and decision-making. Details of the
scheme are available on this
page, and anyone interested in applying for a fellowship with the
Centre should contact our director, Yvonne
27th March 2002
We have added the first biographical pages to the Observatory,
covering women first elected to the House of Commons in the 1920s,
and since 2000. The information
can be browsed by decade, or through any other page where the women's
names appear. Data on all other women MPs and TDs will be added later
14th March 2002
To mark International Women's Day CAWP director
Dr Yvonne Galligan participated in a conference hosted by the National
Women's Council of Ireland on March 8th. Read more about the event in
this article from The Irish
The conference and debate took place
the day after the proposed constitutional amendment tightening the restrictions
on abortion was defeated in a referendum. A new page in the Elections
section of this site has results
of the vote by constituency.
The staff of the CAWP were pleased to meet Professor
Najma Chowdhury, Professor Nazmunnessa
Mahtab, and Dr Sadeka Halim, from the Department of Women's Studies
at the University of Dhaka. During their meeting they enjoyed a mutually
beneficial discussion on the respective situations for women in public
life in the UK, Ireland, and Bangladesh, and the work of the two centres.
Their visit to the CAWP was part of a two-week tour of Northern Ireland
sponsored by the British Council to foster links between UK and overseas
7th February 2002
The present debate on making a more representative Upper House is nothing
new. As CAWP research fellow Duncan Sutherland explained in a lecture
at New Hall, Cambridge, the discussions over admitting women to the
House of Lords lasted a surprisingly long time and had important ramifications
for both the constitution and women in wider society. Click here to
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