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Latest News Archive 2006

November 2006
Ségolène Royal has been elected the Socialist Party candidate for the French presidency. If she wins the elections next April, she will become the first female president of France. She won the party nomination with 60.6% of the vote, beating her two more established competitors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (21%) and former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius (19%).

The US elections saw Democrat Nancy Pelosi elected as the first female of the House of Representative's. She now occupies a very powerful place in American politics as the head of the legislative branch and second in line to succeed the President. The US has yet to elect a woman as President or vice-President, but Hilary Clinton's re-election to the Senate with an increased majority has fuelled speculation that she might well secure the Democrat nomination for the next Presidential election. The elections also saw a record number of women elected to the Senate (16%) and at least 70 women will sit in the House of Representatives, also a record.

CAWP welcomes the determination of the Secretary of State to bring about greater gender equality in political life in Northern Ireland. At a conference focusing on increasing the numbers of women in political and public life on Monday 13 November 2006, he pointed to Northern Ireland's unfavourable record compared with the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. Now that the election date for the next Assembly is set for 7th March 2007, CAWP encourages political women to seek nominations, and calls on parties to consider putting more women forward for election to bring the NI Assembly into line with other devolved legislatures. The full speech by the Secretary of State is available at: http://www.nio.gov.uk/media-detail.htm?newsID=13734

October 2006

CAWP has recently been called to share its experience and expertise in empowering women in politics through the development of women's leadership capacities. Drawing on our international profile and the great success of our 'Next Generation' women's leadership programme, CAWP has recently joined the advisory council of the 'Women and City Political Training Project'. This is an international project, co-funded by the European Union to help European and Latin American women gain access to political decision-making bodies at local level and to consolidate their presence in them. The project has established two permanent training centres in Barcelon and Buenos Aires with a satellite centre in San Jose de Costa Rica. These centres will run a leadership programme for young women in politics as well as fostering research. The 'Women and City' advisory council met for the first time on October 5 in Barcelona and was attended by CAWP research fellow, Sara Clavero. Following this meeting a brochure providing details about the project and advisory members, including CAWP, was sent to some 200 members and partner institutions in 30 countries. For more information on this project please visit http://www.diba.es/urbal12/

The Gender Research Forum will be hosting a lecture by Rosi Braidotti, Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Utrecht, and one of the leading feminist academics at work today. Entitled 'Transposing Differences' the lecture will be held in the Sociology Department of Queen's University on 24 October 2006 at 5.15pm. For further information, please follow this link >>>>

Following the lecture, a workshop day will be held on 25 October 2006 entitled 'Thinking Through Gender and Science'. For view the call for papers and for more information regarding this event, please follow this link >>>>
For further information on the Gender Research Forum, please follow this link >>>>

September 2006
The Next Generation Leadership Programme held in Queen's University 18 - 22 September, has once again proved a resounding success. The second run of this programme in 2006 (the first being held in January 2006) involved 18 participants from a variety of backgrounds and institutions including participants from local government, the civil service and the two main universities in Northern Ireland. They benefited from expertise in topics such as goal-setting, conflict resolution, public speaking and communication and leadership skills. The next programme will be held at the end of January 2007 and an application form can be accessed above.

July 2006
Baroness Hayman has been elected to the new role of Lord speaker. She has been in the Lords since 1996. She stood against two other women and six men for the position, which was elected by members of the House of Lords.

Congratulations to Professor Margaret Mullett, Director of the Institute of Byzantine Studies and Director of Queen's Gender Initiative, who received an OBE for services to Higher Education in the Queen's 80th Birthday Honours List. Commenting on the award Pro-Chancellor Brenda McLaughlin said, "Her inspirational leadership of the Gender Initiative has helped to bring about a change in the underlying culture of this university, placing Queen's at the leading edge of gender equality issues within Higher Education. She has shown herself to be an outstanding role-model for all the women of Queen's".

Congratulations also to Professor Ruth Lynden-Bell, Emeritus Professor at Queen's who is one of four women to be elected this year as a Fellow of the Royal Society, the world's oldest and most prestigious scientific academy. Her election means she follows in the footsteps of some of the world's most eminent scientists, including Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking.

June 2006
Congratulations to Queen's Gender Initiative who have won a major national award for their work in gender equality. The Opportunity Now education sector award was given to the University for the work of its Gender Initiative, which aims to improve the profile and position of women within the University. The Gender Initiative has produced a stream of tangible results in relation to family-friendly policies, flexible working, enhanced childcare provision, the establishment of a central maternity fund and mentoring schemes for female staff. The award was presented by Cherie Booth QC, Patron of the Opportunity Now awards.

May 2006
The Northern Ireland Women's Coalition held its final meeting on Thursday 11th May. The loss of its two Assembly seats in 2003 and its failure to win any local council seats in 2005 prompted the party to consider its future. After considerable discussion, the women's party has decided to call it a day. Its legacy remains in the form of the Belfast Agreement, family-friendly hours at Stormont, and a woman's agenda in Northern Ireland politics. We in CAWP salute their work on behalf of NI women in the decade of their existence. Political life in Northern Ireland has lost an important cross-community perspective with the closure of the party. We wish all members of the NIWC every success in their future lives and we hope that this does not mark an end of their individual political activity.

Eileen Bell, deputy leader of the Alliance Party, has been appointed Speaker of the Stormont Assembly by Secretary of State, Peter Hain. On 15th May, Mrs Bell will preside over the first meeting of Northern Ireland's elected representatives since Stormont was suspended in October 2002. Her appointment to this position makes her a member of a very small club of women parliamentary speakers worldwide. Jane Morris, respresentative of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, held the position of Deputy Speaker during the 2002-2003 period.

April 2006
On the 7th April 2006, CAWP director Dr Yvonne Galligan discussed her paper on enhancing women's political representations with an illustrious group of feminist lawyers, justices, academics and human rights activists attending the University of Maryland School of Law conference entitled: 'The Global Advancement of Women: Barriers and Best Practices'. The conference, which explored the status of women in a changing global environment was organised by the Women, Leadership and Equality Programme at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, under the direction of Professor Paula Monopoli.

March 2006
CAWP hosted a five-day visit to Belfast by a delegation of seven influential Iraqi women. The visiting women have been involved in the Iraqi transitional government: several being former members of the government who were not elected this time around, while others have been involved in the consitutional process. CAWP were approached by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to host this visit as part of a longer UK trip to look at the role of women in different forms of government and politics in the UK. Their objective in Northern Ireland was to examine the role that women are playing in politics here, especially in the peace process, in terms of forming alliances, networking and reaching consensus and compromise. They participated in a number of seminars and workshops held at the University, met with female politicians at Stormont, toured Belfast's murals and took part in a number of cultural activities.
For a photograph of the women pictured at Stormont with Dr Beverley Milton-Edwards click here >>>>
For further information and report which appeared in Queens Now click here >>>>

The final seminar of the EGG (Enlargement, Gender & Governance) project took place in the European Parliament on the 9th March 2006. The aim of this seminar was to brief a select group of European Commission officials, MEPs, NGOs and journalists on the main research findings and policy recommendations, and to provide a platform for debating the future development of EU gender equality policy in the context of an enlarged European polity. More information, including the background and aims of the project, and the briefing papers from the seminar can be found by following this link >>>> A summary of the Seminar can be found by clicking on this link >>>>
To view a news report about the seminar on CORDIS (the European Community Research & Development Information Service) please click the following link >>>>

CAWP would like to congratulate the Queen's Gender Initiative (QGI) for helping the University achieve platinum status in the 2005 Opportunity Now benchmarking, which matches organisations against good practice in equality for women and tests both auditing and a proactive approach to equality. QGI is seen as a distinctive example of the latter and is cited as a model by, for example, the Equality Challenge Unit. The University is only one of seven organisations in the UK to achieve platinum status. QGI has also been shortlisted for an Opportunity Now 2006 education sector award. This prestigious annual awards programme recognises exceptional progress in organisations working towards gender equality and diversity. QGI won the Northern Ireland education sector award in 2001, and was shortlisted for two national awards in 2002.

February 2006
The new Gender Research Forum (GRF) is now operating within the University. CAWP director Dr Yvonne Galligan is also the Forum's first director. The purpose of the GRF is to provide a forum where scholars with a research interest in gender can meet on a regular basis to discuss their work, network with others interested in gender research, and develop collaborative interdisciplinary research proposals. For further information on the GRF, upcoming events, and how to register for their mailing list please click on the following link >>>>

January 2006
On January 15th, Michelle Bachelet won the Chilean presidential elections, becoming Chile's first woman president. A member of the Socialist Party since the 1970's, she worked underground for the re-establishment of democracy in Chile during the 1980's. After Pinochet's ousting in the 1990's, she held several ministerial posts in the centre-left coalition government of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Socialists. One of her promises during her presidential campaign was the establishment of a parity government, with fifty per cent of female cabinet ministers.

The Next Generation Leadership Programme continues to go from strength to strength. Our latest course ran from January 16 - January 20, 2006 with 18 participants from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The course consisted of workshops and seminars designed to help develop the leadership potential of our participants, covering themes such as emotional intelligence, communication, speaking with confidence and creative well-being. The next course will be help this September and an application form can be accessed above.

As part of the CAWP occasional paper series, we are pleased to announce the publication of the latest paper in our series, entitled 'Who's the Boss?: The Girl Power Frame in New Zealand Newspapers'. It is by Dr Susan Fountaine, a visiting professor with CAWP in September 2005. To view this paper, please follow the link below, or go to the research page of this site for full information on all our occasional papers >>>>

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