Time Slot: 
Monday 21st March 09:30 - 11:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Meryl Kenny (University of Edinburgh)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Kate Mattocks (University of East Anglia)
  • Mrs Shardia Briscoe-Palmer (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Cristina Chiva (University of Salford)
  • Dr Sue Regan (Northumbria University)
  • Dr Stephen Bates (University of Birmingham)

This panel, organized by the PSA Women and Politics Group, assesses the interplay between gender and representation, broadly defined. The emergence of women's representation as an important political issue has been matched by a large and wide-ranging body of work in feminist political science that has sought to understand why women continue to be under-represented in public and political life, and how this might be changed. The papers on this panel all engage with different facets of the relationship between women, gender and representation - and their intersection with other axes of inequality. The first paper on the panel (Cristina Chiva) focuses on women's numerical (or descriptive) representation and the adoption of gender quota measures in Central and Eastern Europe, as the most visible and direct mechanisms used to increase women's political presence around the world. The next two papers move on to consider the question as to whether women politicians 'make a difference' once they are actually in office, exploring whether increases in women's descriptive representation result in increases in attention to women's policy concerns (substantive representation) at local government level in the UK (Sue Regan) and in the House of Commons (Stephen Bates and Alison Sealey). The final paper on the panel moves beyond the traditional focus on parliaments and legislatures to look at the barriers and challenges faced by three marginalised groups in the political science profession - women and black and minority ethnic (BME) PhD students, and PhD students with a disability - and the implications of the continuing under-representation of these groups for the future of the profession.