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Archive 2003

14-17 December 2003
Dr Yvonne Galligan attended a seminar in Bitola, Macedonia, as expert and speaker, on the subject of women in local government. This event was organized by the Council of Europe.

12 December 2003
CAWP jointly hosted a conference with the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research entitled "Engendering Democracy. This event was held at NICVA Headquarters in Duncairn Gardens.

11 December 2003
We were delighted to welcome Professor Manon Tremblay, Director of the Centre for Research on Women and Politics at the University of Ottawa, Canada, who gave a lunchtime seminar entitled "Women in the Canadian House of Commons and the Irish Dail: some points of comparison". This event was jointly sponsored by CAWP, the Canadian Studies Centre and the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research.

5 December 2003
A Conference entitled "Engendering Democracy - Women's Organisations and their Influence on Policy Making" was jointly organised by the Institute of Governance and CAWP on Friday 5 December 2003 in NICVA, Duncairn Gardens, Belfast. >>>>

1 December 2003
Professor Sir George Bain, Vice Chancellor Queen's University Belfast, today presented CAWP Manager, Maureen Drennan, with a limited edition print of the Lanyon Building at Queen's by artist Colin Gibson, in recognition of twenty five year's continuous service with the University. Photo >>>>

28 November 2003
Dr Duncan Sutherland, Associate Fellow, gave a talk at an ESRC sponsored event at the University of London on women in the House of Lords. The seminar "What difference
did the vote make? Women and Citizenship in Britain from Enfranchisement to
the Present"
was the first in a series of seminars entitled "Women and Westminster".

26 November 2003
The long awaited elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly took place on Wednesday 26 November 2003 and has resulted in the number of women MLAs increasing from 14 to 17, although five former MLAs were not re-elected. Sinn Féin, with seven, has the most women elected. The SDLP has five women MLAs, and the DUP, UUP and APNI each has two women MLAs. The list of successful female MLAs and elected women as a proportion of party seats can be viewed here >>>>

6 November 2003
After nominations closed for the NI Assembly Elections there were a total of 256 candidates, including 49 women. Sinn Fein has the most women standing, with twelve from total 38 candidates, Alliance has eight from a total of 21 candidates, NIWC has seven, SDLP has six from a total of 36 candidates, UUP has four from a total of 43 candidates, DUP has four from a total 40 candidates, the Workers' Party has two women from 8 candidates, Progressive Unionist has one from 11 candidates, Conservative has one women from 6 candidates, UK Unionist has one from 6 candidates, Vote for Yourself has one women from 3 candidates,and Socialist Environmental Alliance and Independent Nationalist have one women each from 2 candidates. Further details >>>>

3 November 2003
Dr Moya Lloyd attended the Women and Equality Unit/ESRC Gender Research forum, entitled "Equality and Diversity", in the DTI Conference Centre, London. Report >>>>

22 October 2003
On 20 October 2003, over 90 delegates gathered in Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, for a seminar around the theme of 'Closing the Gap' Getting More Women into Politics and Local Government'. This seminar, was organised by the Leitrim Gender Equality Project. Full report >>>>

26 September 2003
CAWP assisted the Women's National Commission in organizing the event "Women in the New Europe" in the Wellington Park Hotel. Eva Eberhardt, senior researcher with the Hungarian partner in the Enlargement, Gender and Governance project, spoke at that event.

23 September 2003
A comparative project analysing the participation of women activists in the campaigns for devolution in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales has now been completed. The project evaluated the impact they have made and will continue to make as the process of constitutional change evolves and develops. In turn, the project examined the impact of constitutional change and institution building upon women, women's political roles and identities; and upon gender relations.

Team members were Dr Fiona Mackay (principal investigator) and Prof Alice Brown, University of Edinburgh, and Prof. Elizabeth Meehan (co-grant-holders) and Dr Tahyna Barnett Donaghy, Queen's University Belfast. Additional research and technical assistance was provided by Ann Henderson, Haf Elgar, Jen Ross, Louise Tait and Kelly Dunlop. The project worked in collaboration with Dr Paul Chaney (University of Cardiff), Dr Laura McAllister (University of Liverpool) and Dr Yvonne Galligan, Director CAWP. Further information >>>>

22 September 2003
CAWP has been working with Uganda's Makerere University to improve affirmative action programmes for women in politics in Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The major output is a regional publication, distributed in the eight countries of East and Central Africa summarising best practice and the pitfalls of affirmative action programmes in the region, and recommendations for mainstreaming women into political decision making. This project has been supported by the British Council in Kampala and Northern Ireland. The report was launched on Monday 22 September 2003 in the Peter Froggatt Centre at Queen's University Belfast by Dr Yvonne Galligan, Director CAWP, Lynda Wilson, Assistant Director British Council NI, and Peter Elborn, Director East and Central Africa British Council. Among those attending were Brenda McLaughlin CBE, Pro Chancellor, Lady Hermon, Carmel Hanna, and several East and Central Africa British Council Directors.

19 September 2003
CAWP and Queen's Gender Initiative welcomed delegates from the Shanghai Women's Federation who have been visiting City Councils, Universities, Women's Groups, and Government Departments in the UK and Ireland. During the visit, topics discussed were the activities involved in promoting and encouraging women to participate and advance in political and decision-making roles. The visit, organised by the China Unit of the International Office at Queen's University Belfast, was part of a cultural and social exchange programme.

18 September 2003
CAWP Director, Dr Yvonne Galligan, made a presentation on gender equality in a reformed Seanad (upper house of the Irish parliament) to the 5-person Committee on Reform of the Seanad. She emphasised the importance of adopting gender parity as a fundamental principle guiding any reform of the upper house and highlighted the need for positive action to provide opportunities for the equal representation of women and men in the House. The Committee is due to report in December 2003. The transcripts of the Seanad reform proceedings are now available. >>>>

17 September 2003
The Centre continues to be occupied with a number of varied research projects. The study of women's participation and representation in politics in EU candidate countries and how preparation for accession may be influencing women's civic and political participation is the most significant of CAWP's research projects. This undertaking, funded by the European Commission, will continue until 2005. The project may be viewed at http://www.qub.ac.uk/egg.

Closer to home, we are examining public attitudes in Northern Ireland towards women in political participation and leadership (designed as a module in the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey).

In addition to these projects dealing with women and politics, CAWP was contracted by the International Women's Forum-Ireland to study women and decision making in the corporate sector. While surveys of women on corporate boards are carried out annually in the US and the UK, this study was the first of its kind in Ireland. The project has included a benchmarking of the gender balance on Irish corporate boards and a survey of board chairmen and women directors on barriers to women's corporate progress and strategies for overcoming these. The report on this project will be available shortly.

6 May 2003
CAWP Associate Fellow Duncan Sutherland attended a talk by Her Excellency Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, the British-born First Lady of Egypt, at the London School of Economics. Mrs Mubarak’s discussed the Women for Peace Movement which she helped establish last year, partly in response to the UN Security Council resolution urging governments to give women a greater role in conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction. Among the points raised in the subsequent question and answer session was the worrying lack of any organised women’s groups to participate in the planning of the country's future and the need to reverse the marginalisation of women in the country's workforce and economy which has occurred during the twelve years of sanctions. Mrs Mubarak also called for greater links between universities and research centres across the world to facilitate crucial dialogue, development and understanding.

2 May 2003
The Welsh Assembly now leads the world in women's representation by becoming the first parliament to have elected equal numbers of women and men. For further information on the elections, visit our elections homepage.

30 April 2003
Duncan Sutherland, a research fellow at CAWP from May 2001, has left the Centre and has moved back to England. Duncan is originally from Saskatoon, Canada, and he came to Belfast via the University of Cambridge from which he received a doctorate in history for his dissertation on women's admission to the House of Lords. Fortunately, Duncan will be continuing as an Associate Research Fellow and will assist, from his base in London, with several ongoing projects. For interview with Duncan click here.

14 March 2003
Most of the parties have completed nominations for the 1 May elections in Wales and Scotland and 29 May vote in Northern Ireland. As in the past Northern Ireland's parties lag behind in the attainment of a balanced slate of candidates, with Sinn Fein and the Alliance having nominated the highest proportions of women here. Across the UK, however, Labour leads the way with over 40 per cent of its Scottish and Welsh candidates being women.

9th March 2003
Female politicians have been given a vote of confidence by the Northern Ireland public, according to preliminary findings from a new survey carried out by researchers from Queen's University and the University of Ulster. According to the most recent Northern Ireland Life and Times survey, due to be published shortly, two-thirds of women (66 per cent) and over half of men (57 per cent) said they wanted to see more women in the Assembly and representing Northern Ireland at Westminster.

One-fifth (19 per cent) of those surveyed thought that parties should be required to put forward a proportion of women candidates and more than half - 55 per cent - thought that parties should be encouraged to field more women candidates. CAWP Director Dr Yvonne Galligan said: "It is clear that the public want to see more women in politics. It is also clear that they expect the parties to do something about it.

"As things stand in the run-up to the Assembly elections at the end of May, there are only 25 women running in this election from the five main parties, excluding the Women's Coalition, yet there are 142 men from these parties looking for an Assembly seat. In other words, women are less than one-fifth of the candidates. According to our findings, this is not what the electorate wants. Our results are an unequivocal endorsement of recent legislation encouraging parties to take step to present voters with a gender-balanced list of candidates."

Margaret Ward, Assistant Director of think tank Democratic Dialogue, also welcomed the results, saying: "I hope that many more women are returned to the Assembly after the next elections, as clearly the voters want this to happen."

The survey also shows that seven out of ten women and men agree that women choose to put their families first over a political career and that women don't come forward to be considered as candidates. Thus they see women making choices that preclude a political career. This is a change in women's attitudes since 1991 when they pointed to discrimination from party and society as additional reasons for women not taking their place in political life in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the significant shift in views, Anne Marie Gray, lecturer in Social Administration and Policy at the University of Ulster said: "People are now much more supportive of women in politics than a decade ago."

29 February 2003
February 28 witnessed the fourth seminar in our series on women and parliament, entitled 'Reflections on Representation'. Our speakers included Helena Catt of the University of Auckland, Suzanne Dovi of the University of Arizona, Carmel Roulston of the University of Ulster, and Elizabeth Meehan, director of the Institute of Governance at Queen's.

At a reception to mark the close of the seminar, CAWP launched the first four titles in its new occasional papers series. One of our most exciting iniatives, this series publishes work by scholars from across the globe on themes relating to women in politics. The four papers, edited by our visiting professor Karen Ross, can be read here.

6 February 2003
The Centre and the British Council co-hosted a very successful conference entitled Engendering Democracy last week. Delegates came from the UK and Ireland, and fifteen other countries including Azerbaijan, Egypt, China, Poland, Sweden, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Israel. Overseas delegates were briefed on devolution in the UK and Northern Ireland's history and challenges, and women politicians from the UK and Ireland shared their experiences and perceptions of women's leadership styles. Additionally there were presentations on engendering transitions, gender budgeting, and smart strategies for promoting women in politics, with small group workshops and plenary discussions. The delegates also met women at the Women and Peace Building Centre in Armagh, and were hosted by Belfast's new High Sheriff Councillor Margaret Clarke for a reception and dinner at City Hall. The four-day event afforded these women - from the spheres of politics, NGOs, and the civil service of their countries - an opportunity for networking, exchanging ideas and learning about both the similar and unique challenges women face in their home countries. For some pictures of the event please see here.

23 January 2003
CAWP director Yvonne Galligan and research fellow Amanda Sloat have returned from Vilnius, Lithuania. This was part of their series of visits to our research partners in the EU candidate countries included in the Enlargement, Gender & Governance project.

Our site now has a link to the Gender Task Force's Women Mayor's Link. This scheme, based in Romania and running until 2004, aims to develop women mayors' leadership skills and build networks between women mayors and local governments in Central and Southeast Europe working on projects to improve the lives of women and children at a local level.

Finally, next month the cross-community group Women into Politics will be resuming its 'Dialogue Across the City' events, this time hosting them across Northern Ireland. These workshops, where women can share political ideas and explore political differences and areas of common concern, are open to any women interested in public affairs. The upcoming programme will include pre-election specials and a workshop for women from the ethnic community. More details can be obtained by calling Women into Politics at 02890-243363.

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