Centre For Advancement of Women in Politics

The Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics works to promote women’s contribution to politics, government and public decision making in the UK and Ireland.  We focus on both the proportion of women in decision making and on the inclusion of gender perspectives in government policies and programmes.  The Centre was formed in October 2000 and is based in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics in Queen’s University Belfast.  

We regularly run and participate in events and conferences on leadership and decision making.  Our annual Next Generation Programme is designed to enhance women’s influence and leadership in economic, social and political life.  We also welcome submissions for blog posts which relate to women’s involvement in politics, government and public decision making.  For more information please contact cawp@qub.ac.uk.

News and Events

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International Women's Day 2017

Public Lecture by Professor Angela Davis


CAWP Blogs

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and the 2017 Assembly Election in Northern Ireland

The Assembly election in 2017 has continued the upward trend in the increase of women MLAs. Women now make up 30% of the Assembly, an increase from 28% at the last election just 10 months ago. The 2016 election result saw the number of women increase by half from 19% in 2011.

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and the 2016 Assembly Election in Northern Ireland

2016 saw the re-election of Northern Ireland’s first female First Minister. The leader of the DUP Arlene Foster became First Minister in January 2016 and took the position up again after her party won a total 38 seats in the 2016 Assembly election. A total of 276 candidates stood for the 2016 Assembly Election of which 76 were women candidates

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and the 2016 General Election in Ireland

The introduction of gender quotas at the 2016 general election saw more women than ever put themselves forward for candidate selection. The Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012 incentivises political parties to select at least 30 per cent female candidates and at least 30 per cent male candidates. A total of 551 candidates contested the election, 388 men (70.4 per cent) and 163 women (29.6 per cent).

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Research Projects and Networks

Systemic Action for Gender Equality (SAGE)

Queen’s Gender Initiative and the Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics, led by Professor Yvonne Galligan, are jointly the Queen’s University lead for the new EU project Systemic Action for Gender Equality (SAGE).  This project is being led by the Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership (TCGEL) in Trinity College Dublin and has secured €2.2million in funding from the Horizon 2020 research funding programme.

SAGE seeks stronger action on gender equality in higher education and research.  Gender equality has yet to be fully realised, and the European Commission recognises the structural barriers that impede progress, namely: unequal pay, absence of work/life balance, the persistence of harassment and discrimination, and the under-representation of women in decision-making.  SAGE will devise and implement interventions to advance gender equality in seven European universities, and develop a proven model that can be implemented throughout the European research sector.

SAGE partners are: Trinity Centre for Gender Equality and Leadership (TCGEL), Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, acting as coordinator; Università degli Studi di Brescia, Italy ; Kadir Has University, Turkey; Instituto Universitário De Lisboa, Portugal; Sciences Po Bordeaux, France; International University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

Gender and the Legal Professions

Congratulations to Professor Yvonne Galligan and Professor Sally Wheeler who have won a contract with the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) for an EU-wide study on gender in the judicial and legal professions.  This study will map the representation of women and men in legal professions across all 28 Member States and will run from January to Summer 2017.  

The arguments for gender diversity in the legal system are grounded in democratic legitimacy, equality of opportunity, and the inclusion of varied perspectives. For instance, decisions taken by the judiciary influence public and legal discourse, which impacts on society at all levels; therefore it is crucial that women are equally represented. Yet, increasing diversity in the legal field is a great challenge for many Member States today. This study will take stock of the situation providing an EU-wide comparative perspective. This analysis has to acknowledge the differences in the Member States’ legal traditions as well as the diversity in the organisation, structure and terminology of the legal professions in different countries.

The study will not be limited to legal professions (such as lawyers, judges, prosecutors, law clerks, bailiffs, notaries, attorneys and other court staff) but will also examine important gender differences in various fields of law, including higher education. The overall aim of the study is to provide a full picture of the situation in the EU, to highlight areas where women or men are currently underrepresented and to analyse the underlying reasons.

For information on past research: http://www.qub.ac.uk/cawp/research.html


Next Generation Programme

Each year we run a Next Generation four day leadership training programme in Queen’s University Belfast.  The programme includes workshops and seminars on communication skills, conflict management, team management, leadership skills and work/life balance.  It is open to women who have been identified by their sponsoring organisation as leaders of the future, and who are committed to making a difference.  The programme is designed to operate within a broad understanding of decision-making and we welcome women keen to participate and advance in all aspects of economic, social, political and public life.  The programme benefits both the participants and their sponsoring organisations and contributes to gender equality strategies in the workplace.

Participants have consistently rated this programme very highly in terms of satisfaction with the range and detail of content, the diagnostic tools and approaches provided and the applicability of content to their professional and personal lives.  Past participants also recommend this programme to colleagues and associates.  For further information please contact cawp@qub.ac.uk. 

Next Generation 2017 will run from 20th – 24th November 2017.

Next Generation 2017 Information

Next Generation 2017 Application form

Find us and get in touch

Professor Yvonne Galligan


Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics

Get in Touch


Lisa Irvine

Email: cawp@qub.ac.uk


University Square

Contact Information

Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics

Lisa Irvine
T: 00 44 (0)28 90973629
Queen's University, Belfast
University Road

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