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Working for Women? The Emergence and Organisation of the Women's Equality Party

Gender
Political Parties
Representation
Meryl Kenny
University of Edinburgh
Elizabeth Evans
Université de Lausanne
Meryl Kenny
University of Edinburgh

Abstract

European politics has been flooded with new political parties over the last four decades, changing and challenging the dynamics of party competition and the content of political debate. This paper focuses on one type of new or 'niche' party - women's parties - designed specifically and primarily to increase women's representation in politics. More than thirty women's parties have been established in Europe since 1990, yet there has been little systematic analysis of why and when they emerge, how they organise, and what their impact is. This project evaluates these questions through a case study analysis of the recently established Women's Equality Party in the UK. The research seeks to map the party's membership and organisational structure in its early stages of development, assess its relationship to and with the women's movement, and evaluate its impact on women's descriptive (numerical) and substantive representation.