Gender, Inequality and Power Commission

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Gender, Inequality and Power Commission
The Commission on Gender, Inequality and Power has been established to better understand the complex and multidimensional character of inequality and power imbalances between women and men with respect to the economy, law, politics and media/culture and with regard to the issues of rights, power, work/family balance, and violence which cut across these areas
Session 2: Gender and Politics

Date: Friday 16 January 2015

Time: 9.30-5.30pm

Venue: LSE, Vera Anstey Room, Old Building, Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE

Refreshments and a vegetarian lunch will be provided
The gendered nature of political power – at local, national, and international level – is evident to anyone who participates in politics or watches the television news. The Inter-Parliamentary Union has been tracking statistics on women in national parliaments since 1997, and over this period, has identified some considerable areas of change. Yet the world average for women’s participation remains low at 22.1%, and the UK is almost exactly at that world average with 22.6%. It currently comes in as number 64 in the global list of shame. The adoption of gender quotas, including in countries devising new post-conflict constitutions, has proved one mechanism for change. But even where the numbers are more encouraging, increasing the proportion of women in parliaments may not translate into effective influence over policy, or may not translate into policies that challenge gender hierarchies, and may leave untouched many other important arenas of power.
In this session on Politics, the Commission will draw on existing bodies of research and expertise to gather evidence:

  1. on where power lies and what kind of power most matters;

  2. on differences in the gendered distribution and experiences of power, within the different parts of the UK , and between the UK and other parts of Europe;

  3. on the major obstacles operating to sustain gendered inequalities, in parliament, in the political parties,  in local government, and in women’s attitudes towards politics;

  4. on what we can learn from these experiences and differences about the best ways forward towards equal participation in politics.

Please see overleaf for the Programme.
If you have any questions about the work of the Commission or about this event, please contact the Commission’s Project Manager, Kate Steward:
9.30 am Arrival, Registration and Coffee.
10.00 am Introductions and opening comments

Professor Nicola Lacey and Professor Diane Perrons: Co-Directors of the Commission.

10.15am Session 1: Where does power lie and what kind of power matters?

  • Naana Otoo-Oyortey (The Politics of Female Genital Mutilation in the UK: Prosecution vs Prevention)

  • Joni Lovenduski (Does it matter what kind of power women have?)

  • Claire Annesley (Executives: the pinnacle of political power)

  • Anne Phillips (Thinking beyond the numbers)

11.50am Session 2: Comparisons

  • Tania Verge (The gender politics of quota implementation in Southern Europe)

  • Fiona Mackay and Meryl Kenny (Shattering Politics' Highest Glass Ceiling?: Current developments in Scotland)

  • Yvonne Galligan (The gender quota law in Ireland - meeting the challenge)

1-2pm Lunch
2pm Session 3: Obstacles

  • Dawn Teele (Barriers to Advancement for Female Politicians)

  • Emma Crewe (What stops things happening in Parliament?)

  • Sarah Childs (Feminizing Parties)

  • Peter Allen (How local government acts as a gendered springboard to higher office)

  • Rosie Campbell (What’s going on in women’s attitudes to politics?)

3.45pm Tea and coffee
4pm Session 4: Ways forward

  • Rainbow Murray (Beyond the zero-sum game)

  • Drude Dahlerup (Why, when, and how do quotas get adopted?)

  • Eva Neitzert (Equal access to power for women: what needs to change?)

5.30pm Reception

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