Enlargement, Gender and Governance:
The Civic and Political Participation and Representation of Women
in EU Candidate Countries
Start date: 1 December 2002
End Date: 31 November 2005
Funding body: European Union Framework Five
Partners: Queen's University Belfast (UK, co-ordinator); Bignaschi Foundation
of Milan (Italy); University of Sofia - Gender Studies Centre (Bulgaria);
Academy of the Sciences - Institute of Sociology (Czech Republic); University
of Tartu - Sociology Department (Estonia); University of Latvia - Centre
for Feminism Studies (Latvia); Law University of Lithuania - Political
Sciences Department (Lithuania); University of Warsaw - Institute of Applied
Social Sciences (Poland); University of Bucharest - Political Science
Department (Romania); Matej Bel University - Institute of Social and Cultural
Studies (Slovakia); University of Ljublana - Philosophy Department (Slovenia)
Background: The main objective of this research project is to analyse
the extent to which representative institutions and other organizations
(such as political parties, trade unions, NGOs and social movements) enable
women's participation and representation in political decision-making
and governance in EU candidate countries. A multi-disciplinary team of
predominantly women researchers from across Europe will analyse the situations
in each of the ten Central and Eastern European applicant states: Bulgaria,
the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Poland,
Slovakia, and Slovenia. By looking at how the history of communist rule
has affected women's current political position, the project will provide
recommendations to underpin effective future policy-making.
Aims: This research project focuses on three main questions:
To what extent, and in what ways, have the twin forces of democratisation
and preparation for EU accession influenced women's civic and political
participation in candidate countries?
To what extent, and in what ways, are women's civil associations
embedded in the equality policy framework in candidate countries?
Are there specific strategies that could be adopted to enhance
women's contribution to governance?
Specific objectives include the following actions:
To trace, map and analyse the contribution of women's political
and civic organisations to governance in CEECs as they evolve through
democratisation and EU integration.
To analyse the extent to which institutions encourage or inhibit
women's representation and participation in discussing and determining
policies and actions in which women have direct and indirect interests.
To identify areas where women's participation is weaker and assess
To identify new forms of gender discrimination and segregation
in post-communist countries and assess the measures required to address
To evaluate women's influence on the adoption and implementation
of current Commission and national government policies, such as gender
mainstreaming and the implementation of the EU equality acquis.
To evaluate whether effective monitoring bodies have been established
to ensure the enforcement of this legislation.
For more information,
see the EGG website at www.qub.ac.uk/egg.