Latest News Archive 2009 - 2015
The Assembly Executive Review Committee in the
Northern Ireland Assembly has recently begun a review focusing on
Women in Politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly, and would
welcome submissions from interested parties. The deadline is 3 September
2014. More information can be found here.
Burton TD was elected leader of the Labour Party in Ireland on Friday
4 July 2014. She beat her rival, Alex White TD with a 78% share of
the votes cast. All members of the party were entitled to vote in
the election. She is the first woman to be leader of the Labour Party
since its foundation in 1918. She will now become Tanaiste (deputy
prime minister) in the Fine Gael-Labour coalition government, and
will embark on a reshuffle of the Labour cabinet members. For more
information on her election as party leader, click here.
Girl-The Woman: Beyond Global and Generational Borders' research project
, part of the Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities,
will be hosting a research symposium on the 22-23 May 2014 on the
theme of Generational Borders. This symposium will follow directly
on from our first event in January - which focused on girlhood - to
explore the construction of female identity through the idea of generational
borders. This will be understood in its broadest terms to include
the contextual determinants of the transition from girlhood to womanhood,
the voice and experience of girls living in transition and the relationship
between different generations of girls/women, specifically how girls
and women experience and understand the same context. This will illuminate
what it is to be a girl and a woman in particular social, cultural
and political contexts. These contexts include rural life and farming,
sexual and reproductive health, and living in a conflict society.
Our keynote address will be by Paula McFetridge, the Artistic Director
for Kabosh Theatre Company NI. Drawing on an extensive theatre archive,
Paula will take us through powerful representations of girls' and
women's experiences enacted in different Kabosh's productions. The
keynote address will close the symposium by presenting generational
borders in the context of theatre: from the battle against the stigma
of women and girls living in sheltered accommodation and the female
experiences of social exclusion, to the remarkable lives of women
leaders from around the world. The keynote will be accompanied by
live performances from the plays.Please click on the links for the
full programme including
speaker biographies and registration details, the Keynote
Address flyer, and for more information on 'The
Girl-The Woman' research project, including people involved and
In advance of the approaching local elections in Northern
Ireland, click here
to view CAWP's preliminary analysis in relation to Gender and the
Northern Ireland Local Elections, 2014. For more detail on the gender
of candidates at NI 2014 Local Elections - Data by Council, click
A briefing paper by the Northern Ireland Assembly entitled: 'Candidates
for the 2014 Elections in Northern Ireland by Gender' can be accessed
of the analysis shows that the larger parties are - on this occasion
- actively selecting more women to stand than previously. All bar
the UUP have around 30% female candidates - the generally accepted
minimum standard. That women comprise only 25% of candidates overall
is due to the male orientation of smaller parties and independents.
On International Women's Day, CAWP wants to
see more women included in democratic politics. Read our soundbites
at the 'Alternative Ms Ulster' event in Parliament Buildings, Stormont,
on 8 March. This was a great event, organised by Clare Bailey, former
CAWP student and now researcher for Stephen Agnew MLA, Greeen Party
NI. Click here
for CAWP statements.
'The Girl-The Woman: Beyond Global and Generational
Borders' research project , part of the Institute for Collaborative
Research in the Humanities, will be hosting a research symposium on
the 15th - 16th January 2014 on the theme of Global Girlhood. The
keynote address will be by Dr Dr Sinéad Morrissey, the first
Belfast Poet Laureate and entitled: 'The girl-the woman': a reading
of selected poetry'. Please click on the links for the full programme
including speaker biographies, an information flyer
on the keynote address and for more information on 'The
Girl-The Woman' research project, including people involved and
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human
Rights (ODIHR) has mentioned the importance of last year's 'How to
Elect More Women in Northern Ireland' conference on their website.
For more information click here
and to view a copy of their publication, 'Gender Equality in Elected
Office: A Six-Step Plan' please click here.
Yvonne Galligan and doctoral candidate Fiona Buckley participated
in the Irish Convention on the Irish Constitution on February 16-17.
This is a 100-person deliberative forum advising the Irish government
on constitutional change. The focus of this Convention meeting was
Article 41.2 on women in the home, and more generally women's participation
in public and political life. Professor Galligan was called before
the Convention as an expert witness. Ms Buckley addressed the Convention
in her capacity as 50:50 Campaign spokesperson. After extensive deliberation
on these matters, the Convention voted to radically alter the 'woman
in home' article (88%). It favoured changing the language of the Constitution
to be gender inclusive (89%) and there was almost unanimous support
for the State doing more to encourage women's public/political participation
(97%). All results and associated material available can be found
A TEDxBelfastWomen event will take place 1 December
2012 on the theme of the Space Between. The Space Between,
explores how women are less likely to approach subjects from a black-or-white
perspective as they see the gray area in between. For more information
please follow this link.
Bronagh Rice has carried out some research with young people in Northern
Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to gauge their perceptions of,
and explanations for the under-representation of women in politics
in Ireland. She has then analysed what these views and explanations
mean for the future of women's political participation. Her paper
can be accessed here.
Women's representation in Irish politics is
finally set to grow, thanks to the passing of legislation on candidate
gender quotas. At present, women hold only 15% of the seats in the
the lower house of parliament. This legislation ensures that at the
next election in 2016 - the anniversary year of the Easter Rising
- women will be assured of a greater presence in the Dáil.
Speaking on the passage of this historic law, Director of the Centre
for Advancement of Women in Politics, Professor Yvonne Galligan said:
'This is a great day for the women of Ireland, and for Irish democracy.
Women can now become lawmakers, with men, in greater numbers. While
it does not guarantee a gender-equal Dáil,
this law is a step in the right direction. I congratulate the Minister,
TDs and Senators for enacting this long-overdue provision. And congratulations
to the many women, and some men, who campaigned for this measure knowing
that it was the only effective way of breaking the pattern of resistance
to selecting women candidates. The members of 50:50 Group, the National
Women's Council of Ireland, and many others deserve great credit for
their political and public championing of this issue.'
debate can be viewed here.
Information on Longford Women's Link can be found here.
On Thursday July 19, the long-awaited legislation on candidate gender
quotas for general elections will reach the final stages in the Irish
parliament (Dáil). The provisions are included in a wider Bill
addressing reform of party funding. The Electoral (Amendment) (Political
Funding) Bill 2011 provides for a 30% gender quota for party candidates
at the next election, rising to 40% seven years thereafter. Non-compliant
parties will risk financial penalties.
The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP), co-founded by Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. State Department and five leading
women's colleges - Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wellesley
- announced today that it is joining forces with the Woodrow Wilson
International Centre for Scholars. Two weeks ago, Secretary Clinton
opened the WPSP inaugural Institute at Wellesley College, saying:
"Around the world, we are hoping to help correct the gender imbalances
in public service, not just by working at the top, shattering those
glass ceilings, but also at the grassroots level by training and supporting
women who have the talent, who have the will, but sometimes not the
opportunity to become effective leaders in their nations." Recently,
CAWP Director Professor Yvonne Galligan and Research Fellow Dr. Victoria
Montgomery met with Professor Paula Rayman to discuss CAWP's participation
in the Women in Public Service Project. CAWP is delighted to be part
of this vital international initiative. Further updates to follow.
For further information about the Women in Public Service Project
and its programs, please click here.
The School of History and Anthropology are hosting
a conference on the Life and Writings of Helen Waddell (1889-1965)
on 11-12 May 2012. Helen Waddell was amongst the first flood of women
graduate from Queen's University and is one of Queen's most well-known
alumni. The programme including registration details can be found
Scottish Local Elections looks like 'more of the same'
for women, according to politics experts Fiona MacKay and Meryl Kenny.
In a study of women's participation in the 2012 local elections, they
show that women comprise only one in four candidates. They also show
that 56 local wards (1 in 7) are all-male contests. Further discussion
can be found here.
In time for International Women's Day, we welcome
the publication of a new report on gender and democratic decisionmaking,
available online here.
Deliberative Processes and Gender Democracy: case studies from
Europe is a publication of the long-running RECON project funded
under the FP7 programme. Edited by Professor Yvonne Galligan, the
report shows the inbuilt weaknesses in democratic decision-making
from a gender equality point of view. Investigations of decision-making
are carried out for the European Union (Clavero and Galligan), Austria
(Gresch and Sauer), Greece (Papageorgiou), Hungary (Vajda), Lithuania
(Matonyte and Bucaite-Vilke), Poland (Zielinska) and Spain (Clavero).
These chapters are accompanied by an overview discussing the comparative
conceptual and methodological analysis (Galligan) and a chapter on
the theoretical lessons to be drawn from the studies (Holst). The
collection reveals that the achievement of gender equality in the
EU is contingent on the institutional framework, the disposition of
key participants, and the genuine inclusion of women in law-making.
The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) have produced a
good publication which may be of interest entitled: Gender-Sensitive
Parliaments: a global review of good practice by Sonia Palmieri. This
report can be accessed here.
February 2, 2012 the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill
2011, containing provision for candidate gender balancing at general
elections, was introduced in Seanad Eireann by the Minister for Environment,
Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD. It proposes to remove
one-half of state funding for the lifetime of a Dail from parties
that do not select a minimum 30% female candidates at the next general
election. Professor Yvonne Galligan, Director of CAWP was in the Seanad
public gallery to witness the introduction of the Bill. She said:
"This Bill, for which CAWP has campaigned, finally sees the light
of day. It will ensure that women will no longer be severely under-represented
in Irish parliamentary politics. It is heartening to see cross-party
consensus on this issue. This is an historic day for democratic politics
in Ireland." The text of the debate is available here
The remainder of the debate on the second stage of the
Electoral (Amendment) Political Funding Bill 2012 was taken in the
Seanad on Tuesday 9th February. The discussion focused mainly on the
candidate gender special measures. The debate is reported here.
The Committee stage will take place on Tuesday 14th February.
On December 16, the draft legislation on political
party funding and candidate gender quotas was published by the Irish
Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill, 2011 provides
for a 30% gender quota for party candidates at the next election,
rising to 40% seven years later. Non-compliant parties will risk financial
Yvonne Galligan, Director of CAWP, welcoming the bill said: 'This
measure will finally break the glass ceiling of political representation
for women in Ireland. It is the one area in which women have made
hardly any progress over the last decade, compared to their advance
in all other professions and careers. The bill will require parties
to give the voters a gender choice at election times. With this bill,
Ireland is following a global trend, as half the countries in the
world use some form of gender quota for elections to their parliament.
The 30% provision is very attainable. QUB doctoral candidate, Fiona
Buckley, has calculated that at the 2011 election just one more female
party candidate in 38 of the 43 constituencies would have delivered
the 30% quota.
This measure will add to the efforts currently underway to encourage
women into political life. The work of Women
into Public Life, Women
for Election, Longford
Women's Link Manifesto Group, among others, are supporting women
across Ireland to become involved in political decision-making. The
50:50 campaign is lobbying for equal representation of women with
men by 2020.
When this bill is passed, Ireland will be well on its way to joining
the top 20 countires in the world for gender equality in political
Centre for Women and Democracy report on the
impact of the UK government's legislative programme on women's representation,
and other news relevant to women and politics in the UK is available
As we await the results of the elections in
Northern Ireland, it is interesting to note that in upcoming polls
in Tunisia, there will be equal numbers of male and female candidates.
More information here.
Also, in Armenia the Prime Minister has ordered the government to
look at a draft law to promote greater representation of women in
central and local government and the National Assembly.
A recent Fabian report has forecast the complete demise of Liberal
Democrat women in the House after the next election. The women MPs
have mostly been able only to get selected for very marginal seats.
As the Fabian report puts it, Party Leader Clegg's majority in Sheffield
is about the same as all the LibDem women MPs' majorities combined.
More information on this report can be found here.
Invitation to Hustings Event:
for Gender Equality in the Northern Ireland Elections' Wednesday 6th
April at 7pm in The Space, Queen's University Students' Union.
This event which will be chaired by CAWP Director, Prof. Yvonne Galligan
is your opportunity to ask candidates in the upcoming Assembly election
how their parties intend to tackle existing inequalities. More information
The final result in Ireland's 2011 general election
saw 25 women being elected to the Dail, 2 more than at the 2007 election.
Commenting on this outcome, Professor Yvonne Galligan, Director of
CAWP congratulated the successful women candidates on winning seats
in a hard-fought campaign. She went on to say "the absence of
any woman among the 20 Fianna Fail TDs returned to parliament is something
that party must urgently address. Indeed, the low representation of
women in the Dail must be tackled as part of the wider push for political
reform." View a summary of how women fared in the election here.
Data from the Central Statistics Office in the Republic
of Ireland shows that women are under-represented in decision-making
structures at both national and regional levels. In 2010, only 14%
of TDs in Dail Eirrann were women, while they accounted for just over
a third of members of State Boards, less than a fifth of members of
locla authorities and just over a thrid of the membership of Vocational
Education Committees. Women and Men in Ireland, 2010 is available
on the CSO
Reviewing the document Towards Recovery Programme for
National Government 2011-2016, CAWP Director, Professor Yvonne Galligan
welcomes the provisions supporting gender balanced representation.
There is much still to be done, though, to deliver on the commitments
of the Fine Gael-Labour government. CAWP supports the initiatives
of the 50:50 Group, the
National Women's Council of Ireland, Claiming
our Future and the Political
Reform Group in working to make these promises a reality. Read
a more detailed summary and analysis here.
We now turn to the elections in
Northern Ireland. The DUP is running 44 candidates in the NI Assembly
Election due on 5 May 2011. Seven are women: Paula Bradley (North
Belfast), Ruth Patterson (South Belfast), Michelle McIlveen (Strangford),
Arlene Foster (Fermanagh & South Tyrone), Brenda Hale(Lagan Valley).
Pan Lewis (South Antrim) and Evelyne Robinson (North Antrim). Women
make up 16% of the DUP candidates.
The Irish general election is in full swing
and the list of candidates is confirmed. Women do not fare well, despite
gender imbalance being a major talking point in the campaign. Overall,
women comprise only 15% of the 566 candidates. Although a record number
of independent candidates - 235 in all - are putting their names before
the voters, only 25 of them are women. The five main parties do not
show an overall increase in women candidates - 18.4% as compared with
18.7% in 2007. One could correctly interpret this as no advance at
all. The best record was back in 1997 when women made up 19.8% of
candidates. A table on candidacies by party and gender is available
here. Mary Minihan
has an excellent overview article on the subject in the Irish
Professor Yvonne Galligan, CAWP Director, opened the Sligo Institute
of Technology conference on Reimagining Irish Political Culture on
Friday 11 February 2011, stating, "Diversity is the key to reimagining
Irish political culture. The inclusion of women and their views is
one element in this process of change. Today's political crisis can
be the seedbed of a genuinely inclusive and accountable democracy."
Group Photo here.
On the 5th January 2011, the Polish parliament
passed a gender quota bill aimed at increasing women's participation
in politics. This means that at least 35% of the party lists for the
lower house of parliament must be women. The legislation does not
apply to the upper house of parliament. Currently women make up 20%
of the lower house and 8% of the upper house. The next elections are
scheduled for Autumn 2011.
A new year has brought the news that the three finalists for the Politician
of the Year award in Northern Ireland are all women:
Dawn Purvis for her integrity, work on PAC, position she took on UVF,
stance on double-jobbing
Naomi Long for East Belfast result and local commitment
Margaret Ritchie for symbolic act of wearing a poppy and not doing
a pact with Sinn Féin. Also strong on child sexual abuse
CAWP would like to support all three women and hope that this encourages
more women into politics in Northern Ireland. The awards will take
place on 10 February 2011. More information can be found here.
On 1st October, CAWP Director, Professor Yvonne
Galligan was a guest speaker at a seminar considering the current
situation of women in public life in both the North and South of Ireland
and how their under-representation can be addressed. The seminar organised
by Women into Public Life also had Ms. Eileen Sung (Head of Gender
& Sexual Orientation Equality at OFMDFM) and Ms. Pauline Moreau
(Director of the Gender Equality Division, Department of Community,
Equality & Gaeltacht Affair) as speakers.
A new recently launched organisation, The Irish
Feminist Network, is a network of women and men promoting gender equality
across all aspects of Irish society. The launch which was attended
by around 100 people included speakers such Senator Ivana Bacik, Anthea
McTiernan and Susan McKay. To read a copy of journalist Anthea McTiernan's
speech on Women in the Media, please click here.
For more information please see the IFN
website, or IFN can also be accessed on Face
Book and Twitter.
The EU strategy for gender equality, 2010-15,
was published on September 21st. The strategy spells out a series
of actions based around five priorities: the economy and labour market;
equal pay; equality in senior positions; tackling gender violence;
and promoting equality beyond the EU. Speaking on the launch of the
Strategy for Equality between Women and Men 2010-2015, Professor Yvonne
Galligan said 'CAWP welcomes this new plan, and we are particularly
pleased with the attention to the need for more women in economic
and political decisionmaking.'
Access the strategy document here
Studies in University College Cork (UCC) in conjunction with the Political
Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI) Gender Politics Specialist Group
present a one-day conference: Moving in from the Margins: Women's
political representation in Ireland. Saturday, 18th September 2010,
University College Cork. More
information and registration
This conference was organised by QUB Doctoral candidate, Fiona Buckley,
along with Dr. Sandra McAvoy (Women's Studies, University College
Cork) and was a huge success. Attended by over 100 participants, the
conference in UCC was opened by Mary Whyte TD, Minister for Equality,
Diversity and Inclusion. A range of speakers, including current or
former Senators and TDs, spoke of ways to increase women's presence
in Irish politics. CAWP director, Professor Yvonne Galligan, addressing
the meeting, said "Voters should expect to have a number of women
candidates to choose from in their constituency, just as they can
choose from the array of male candidates on the ballot. The only way
to expand voter choice is for the parties to introduce gender quotas
for candidates." Fiona Buckley's doctoral research is on women
in the political executive in Britain and Ireland. She also convenes
the Gender and Politics study group of the Political Studies Association
of Ireland. More information and speaker biographies available here.
Photo 1; Photo
2; Photo 3; Photo
The Second European Conference on Politics and
Gender (Budapest, 13-15 January 2011) has issued a call for papers,
deadline June 18, 2010. More information can be found here.
David Milliband, the front runner for the Labour
leadership met with the women's PLP in the Commons on the 24th May,
and set out his determination to increase the number of women MPs
if he wins the leadership. For more information please follow this
The Women and Politics Group of the Political Studies Association
have launched their Women
and Politics blog. The blog is currently discussing women's representation
after the UK general election.
Follow this link
to view a very interesting clip featured on the Channel 4 News after
the UK elections asking why so few women are in government/politics
in Britain. The clip features interviews with Lesley Abdela of the
Electoral Reform Society, Baroness Williams and Michelle Donelan MP.
It also gives some cross country comparisons of women's representation.
Tara Keenan-Thomson launched her new book, 'Irish Women
and Street Politics, 1956-1973' in The Naughton Gallery in Queen's
yesterday (4th May 2010). Her book explores women's political activisim
in Ireland from 1956-73 and includes interviews with Mary Kenny and
other prominent activists who challenged the gender contract in the
two jurisdictions. it is published by Irish Academic Press Ltd.
Northern Ireland Women's European Platform invites you to listen and
discuss on the issue of the Beijing Platform For Action. For more
information, dates and locations for May 2010, please click on this
of CAWP, Professor Yvonne Galligan, addresses the Australian Houses
of Parliament on "Thinking about Gender and Democracy" on
Friday 23 April. Photo of Professor
Galligan and Dr. Rosemary Laing, Clerk of the Senate. Photo
of Professor Galligan with Dr Laing and Mr Cleaver Elliott, Deputy
Clerk of the Senate.
A debate on women's representation will take
place on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 April in the Irish Senate. When
the debate is online, CAWP will provide a link. For more information,
please see the Oireachtas
This debate resumed on 19 May 2010 and the transcript can be found
is a project initiated by the OECD Development Centre to facilitate
the exchange and improve the knowledge on gender equality-related
issues around the world. It can be accessed here.
On Monday 15th March 2010, Professor Yvonne
Galligan addressed the Trinity College Dublin Historical Society,
debating the motion "This House Believes that the Modern Irish
Woman has No Need of the Women's Movement". The debate, in the
beautiful Exam Hall, was chaired by Mary Robinson, former President
of Ireland. The "Hist" is the oldest undergraduate debating
society in the world, founded by Edmund Burke in 1770. Yvonne proposed
the motion, and Susan McKay, chairperson of the National Women's Council
of Ireland, was among those opposing the motion. Photo
(Yvonne Galligan). Photo (Mary
Fiona Buckley, whose doctoral research is on women and political leadership,
discussed sexism in Irish politics in the Sunday Tribune (14 March
2010). You can read her article here.
Fiona's research is supervised by Professor Yvonne Galligan and Dr.
CAWP would like to wish you all a very Happy International Women's
To mark International Women's Day the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD) is presenting a week-long factblog
examining the social and economic status of women.
Professor Yvonne Galligan will address the annual
conference of the Civil Service Women Managers Network on the subject
of enhancing women's role in public decision-making. The event takes
place in Dublin Castle on Friday 12th February.
Congratulations to Margaret
Ritchie on her election as the new leader of the SDLP!
CAWP would like to congratulate Arlene
Foster, winner of the women parliamentarian of the year 2008,
on her appointment as First Minister (interim). Her appointment means
that she becomes the first female head of government in the UK devolved
parliamentary assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,
and she also becomes the first female head of government among the
two jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.
CAWP has run another successful Next Generation
Leadership Programme. The programme scored an excellent 100% satisfaction
rating by the participants. Our next course will run 18-22 January
2010 and we are now accepting applications! Please click on our Next
Generation page for more information, photos and an application
Prof. Yvonne Galligan and Sara Clavero of CAWP,
have published an article in the Public Service Review: European Union
- Issue 17. Entitled 'Minding the Gap', the article examines how gender
demoncracy is being supported in Europe. The article can be accessed
A research seminar in Contemporary Irish History entitled, 'Because
You're Worth It: Thekla Beere and the Value of Women in Irish Public
Life' by Dr Anna Bryson will take place at 4pm on Wednesday 29 April
2009 in the IIIS Seminar Room, C6002, Level 6, Arts Building, Trinity
CAWP are thrilled to announce that our Director
Yvonne Galligan is now Professor Yvonne Galligan!!
Following a presentation by visiting Professor
Kathleen Knight (Columbia University, New York) on 14 October 2008,
Jujitsu: The Media Dilemma over US Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah
Palin', both Kathleen and CAWP Director, Prof. Yvonne Galligan were
interviewed on the popular current affairs programme, Hearts &
Minds about women in politics. A podcast of this is available here.
It is also available in mov
format. CAWP would like to thank the BBC and the programme producers
of Hearts & Minds for permitting us to link this section to our
Johanna Sigurdardotti has been appointed the
interim Prime Minister of Iceland. She is the first female PM of Iceland
the first openly lesbian head of government in the world.
Morocco is currently working on a Charter for electoral conduct. In
discussions the parties have confirmed their commitment to better
women's representation and have agreed to the creation of all-women's
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