Sign up for our free E-Newsletter!

Centre for Women & Democracy
Suite 7a, Unity Business Centre
26 Roundhay Road

Tel: 0113 234 6500


Follow us on Twitter

News & Blog

13 Aug, 2018

The Centre for Women & Demcracy will be closing at the end of August, and although this site will still be availble for a few months it will not be... More

9 Nov, 2017

CFWD is partnering with the Hansard Society to deliver a new project designed to improve access to democracy and politics for members of the Bangladeshi community in London. The Hansard Society's... More

31 Oct, 2017

There are now a total of 22 women presidents and prime ministers - more than at any other time. However, the level of women in the most senior roles worldwide... More

12 Jun, 2017

A total of 208 women were elected at the general election on 8 June. This is a record number, bringing the total percentage of women members in the House of... More

18 May, 2017

A new Fawcett Society report predicts that women's representation in the Westminster Parliament will 'flatline' at the general election, with the percentage of women moving by less than 1% and... More

26 Apr, 2017

The Fawcett Society has published its interim report on women and local government, which makes interesting reading. The report, for which CFWD did some research, covers areas such as culture,... More

24 Apr, 2017

The general election to be held on 8 June offers the UK parliament the opportunity to achieve a significant increase in the representation of women. Currently at just on 30%,... More

15 Dec, 2016

The election of Caroline Johnson (Conservative) in the Sleaford & North Hykeham by-election on 8 December brought the number of women MPs since 1918 up to the same number... More

9 Nov, 2016

The United States has failed to elect its first woman President, and thus remains one of the majority of countries who have never had a female leader. There are currently 11... More

27 Oct, 2016

The recently-published World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016 finds that overall women's equality has stalled, and in some cases is going backwards. The report is an annual benchmarking exercise... More

13 Jul, 2016

The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP took up her new post this afternoon as Britain's second woman PM. CFWD wishes her well in the tasks ahead, and looks forward... More

6 Jul, 2016

There are now fewer women leading countries than there were at the beginning of 2016. The emergence of women leaders in Scotland and Northern Ireland, together with the prospect of a... More

27 Apr, 2016

'In Our Own Words', CFWD's new dictionary of women 's political quotation s, is now available to buy online. It contains over 1,400 quotes from more than 300 women from across... More

4 Mar, 2016

CFWD's new collection of women's political quotations will be published on 16 March, and is now available to pre-order. Containing over 1,400 quotes, many of which have never been included in... More

10 Feb, 2016

At the end of this year the United Nations will be electing a new Secretary-General, a post which has never been held by a woman. 1 for 7 Billion... More

4 Jan, 2016

It's going to be a busy one, too, for CFWD. Amongst our plans for the year are: publishing our book of quotations for International Women's Day in March; running roundtable events to... More

23 Dec, 2015

Thanks to the generosity of the many people who contributed to our crowdfunding appeal our project to collect and publish a book of women's political quotations (called 'In... More

19 Nov, 2015

CFWD's new project will mark International Women's Day 2016 with the publication of a book of women's political quotations called 'In Our Own Words.' Women are largely excluded from the standard... More

18 Nov, 2015

Tomorrow, CFWD will be launching its new project mark International Women's Day 2016. Did you know that, of the 1,466 people quoted in the Oxford Book of Political Quotations just 136... More

15 Nov, 2015

CFWD's event on Monday 9 May attracted over a hundred women (and a few men) to the Southbank Centre to hear a varied platform of women discuss what needs to... More

3 Nov, 2015

CFWD's Sex & Power: Where next for women in politics event will take place on Monday, 9 November at the Southbank Centre in London. Speakers lined up include: Sophie Walker, (Leader, Women's... More

14 Oct, 2015

The new Sex and Power report by a coalition of feminist and democracy organisations reveals that despite progress on May 7th, there is still a long way to go before... More

17 Jul, 2015

CFWD has recently published a review of the level of women's representation and the type of electoral system used in 111 countries which employ some form of quota system. Amongst other... More

7 Jul, 2015

The number of women leading local authorities in England has risen to 48 - an increase or just one on the 2014/15 municipal year. Interim findings from the Centre for Women... More

13 May, 2015

Following the General Election on 7 May, the Prime Minister has appointed a new Cabinet, and has achieved his aim of a third of members being women. (Download Factsheet) There are... More

11 May, 2015

29.2% of Westminster MPs are now women, up from 22.7% before the General Election. Most parties have returned an increased number of women, and the total has now reached 190 (out... More

27 Apr, 2015

At 26%, the level of women candidates has hit an all-time high for the 2015 general election. In 2010, only 21% of candidates were women, and 20% in 2005. However, the new... More

12 Mar, 2015

With the general election just eight weeks away, we're thinking about what might happen to women's representation, both in parliament and the media. Already there are signs that,... More

6 Jan, 2015

Happy New Year! It's going to be a really big one for our democracy, with the political parties all starting their campaigns early as the General... More

28 Aug, 2014

The Counting Women In coalition has today published Sex and Power 2014: Who Runs Britain?. The report examines the presence, or lack thereof, of women in powerful positions in politics... More

18 Jul, 2014

This week's reshuffle has resulted in just two more women joining the coalition Cabinet. Nicky Morgan (Education) and Elizabeth Truss (Environment) join Theresa May (Home Secretary), Justine Greening (International Development)... More

27 May, 2014

41% of MEPs elected this weekend were women – an increase of 8% on 2009. 30 of the UK’s 73 MEPs are now women, and two parties – the Green Party... More

29 Apr, 2014

Ballot papers in mayoral elections in Tower Hamlets and Lewisham on 22 May will have no women on them, and the overall percentage of women candidates for the five mayoral... More

10 Apr, 2014

The mini reshuffle following the resignation of Maria Miller has seen the proportion of women in Cabinet fall to a 15-year low of 13.6%, according to the Counting Women In... More

10 Feb, 2014

New CFWD research has found that Conservative women are standing down from Parliament at the next election at a greater rate than any other group. The research (which can be read... More

14 Jan, 2014

The number of UK women Members of the European Parliament is set to increase after the elections in May 2014, a new report from the Centre for Women & Democracy... More

20 Dec, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone who has supported the Centre for Women & Democracy in its work during 2013. Amongst many other things we have: published... More

21 Oct, 2013

Today marks the 55th Anniversary of the admission of women to the House of Lords. Until 1958 women were eligible (after 1918) to sit in the House of Commons, but were... More

8 Oct, 2013

David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle has left women's representation pretty much where it was before - at 4 out of 22 - and although he has promoted a small... More

4 Oct, 2013

The recent elections in Rwanda have resulted in a Parliament which, at 64% women, has extended its lead at the top of the world league table of gender representation in... More

28 Feb, 2013

The recent Italian general election has been very good news for women with record numbers elected and the country significantly improving its position in the international rankings. Prior to the election,... More

25 Feb, 2013

The Counting Women In coalition has today published ‘Sex and Power 2013: Who Runs Britain?’ The report examines the presence -  or lack thereof  - of women in politically... More

4 Sep, 2012

The recent cabinet reshuffle has resulted in a fall in the level of women involved in government at the highest level. Prime Minister David Cameron's first cabinet had five women... More

28 May, 2012

35% of councillors elected on 3 May 2012 were women, an increase of 4% on 2011 and 2008, when these seats were last contested. The increase was caused by two main... More

23 Apr, 2012

CFWD research has found that this year there has been a 2% increase in the level of women candidates in the English metropolitan authorities. At 31.8% it is now (just) the... More

19 Apr, 2012

'More of the Same?', a study of women candidates in the Scottish local elections by Dr Meryl Kenny and Dr Fiona Mackay at Edinburgh University, found that less than a... More

10 Apr, 2012

Just 33.6% of candidates in the London Assembly elections are women, with the Conservative Party fielding the lowest number by some distance amongst the main parties standing. Candidates can be nominated... More

5 Apr, 2012

Just 14% of candidates for the May 2012 batch of mayoral elections are women. This is the lowest level ever, and represents a fall of a third on 2011. This May... More

6 Feb, 2012

  Josefina Vázquez Mota has been chosen by the centre-right National Action Party (PAN) as its candidate in the Mexican presidential election to be held in July. A former education minister, she... More

25 Jan, 2012

  Tarja Halonen, Finland's hugely popular first female head of state, will stand down this year after serving two six-year terms. All the candidates in the race to replace her are... More

23 Jan, 2012

  Over 400 people attended last week's ‘How to elect more women?’ conference in Dublin to discuss the Irish government's proposed legislation bringing in quotas for women and men candidates at... More

10 Jan, 2012

  45 countries will hold general elections in 2012, and 24 will vote for someone to serve as President. The USA and France both have high-profile presidential elections, but others include Venezuela,... More

6 Jan, 2012

  Jamaica's new Prime Minister has formally taken office at a ceremony held in the ground of the Governor General's residence in the capital, Kingston. This is the second time Simpson Miller... More

5 Jan, 2012

  There are likely to be at least 2 women candidates in the contest for the leadership of Plaid Cymru caused by the resignation of Ieuan Wyn Jones. Elin Jones, generally thought... More

22 Dec, 2011

... to all our freinds and supporters; we look forward to continuing to work with you in 2012! ... More

15 Dec, 2011

Irish political parties are set to find their state funding halved if they fail to run 30% women candidates in parliamentary elections; this will rise to 40% after 7 years. The... More

7 Dec, 2011

Belgium's new government - formed after 541 days of political wrangling - includes a number of women in very senior roles. There are a total of 13 cabinet ministers, of... More

2 Dec, 2011

Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, has pledged that there will be a record number of women standing in forthcoming elections in her home state. Since her election a year ago, Rousseff has... More

29 Nov, 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has expressed concern that, even in a reformed House of Lords, there will be no women bishops until at least 2025. This... More

27 Oct, 2011

Ireland goes to the polls to elect a new President today, with the likelihood that it will wake up tomorrow with a male head of state for the first time... More

25 Oct, 2011

Counting Women In is the new campaign working to ensure women have a greater presence and voice in UK politics. Bringing together women’s organisations, academics and those that... More

20 Sep, 2011

Women leaders from around the world have declared that boosting women’s political participation and decision-making is fundamental for democracy and essential for achieving sustainable development. The event, one of... More

16 Sep, 2011

The election of Helle Thorning-Schmidt as the first woman Prime Minister of Denmark brings the number of women leading European countries to11, and that of elected women leaders across the... More

14 Sep, 2011

The leaked government memo published this week proposes that consideration should be given to ‘setting up a review on barriers to women entering public life – looking not just as... More

31 Aug, 2011

  Women are having mixed fortunes in the new electoral and constitutional arrangements in Arab Spring countries. The best news comes from Tunisia, where elections are due to be held in Ocober.... More

27 Jul, 2011

Women will lose out in strategic decision-making and scrutiny roles in areas such as policing and the economy, a new CFWD report has found. ... More

17 Jun, 2011

There is only one woman in the new Greek cabinet announced this week - Anna Diamantopoulou retains her post as Education and Lifelong Learning minister, but Tina Birbili (Environment) and... More

10 Jun, 2011

54% of legislators in the tiny European state of Andorra are now women, making it the first country in Europe to achieve more than 50% women in its... More

6 Jun, 2011

CFWD's new report on women in the 2011 local government elections has found that it could be generations before women have an equal voice in town halls. In particular, it... More

17 May, 2011

The Counting Women In campaign, made up of CFWD, the Fawcett Society, the Hansard Society, and the Electoral Reform Society, has today issued the following press statement... More

13 May, 2011

Recent elections brought mixed fortunes for women in UK democratic institutions. In Scotland, 45 women were elected to the Parliament, and women now constitute 35.6% of MSPs – up from... More

11 Mar, 2011

'In Our Own Words', a collection of women's quotations, has been launched to celebrate the centenary of International Women's Day this year. The collection (at In Our Own Words) contains over... More

8 Mar, 2011

Today marks 100 years since the first International Women's Day was held in New York in 1911. Since then, women have come a long way, at ... More

1 Mar, 2011

The new Irish Dail will be 15.1% female – up from 13.9% before the election. This is a increase of 2 women to 25, and has happened despite a drop... More

21 Feb, 2011

A shocking 15% of candidates in the 2011 Irish General Election will be women; 2% down on the last election in 2007. This is despite considerable debate in Ireland about the... More

3 Feb, 2011

CFWD is delighted to announce that it has secured funding from the Feminist Review Trust to examine the cumulative effects of the government's legislative programme and its constitutional and localism... More

6 Jan, 2011

Over a quarter of elected women Presidents and Prime Ministers face elections in 2011, and in a large number of countries worldwide there will be elections which... More

16 Dec, 2010

Proposals in the new Localism Bill to convert council leaders in 12 cities into shadow 'elected' mayors will put women at the helm of just one of the authorities involved. Existing... More

23 Nov, 2010

The General Synod, which began meeting today, has a greater percentage of women in it than Parliament. The Synod is the national assembley of the Church of England, and consists of... More

22 Nov, 2010

A total of 17 (31.5%) of the 54 new working peers announced last week are women. This will result in a negligible increase in the percentage of women in the... More

2 Nov, 2010

Dilma Rousseff, the newly-elected President of Brazil, has never held elected office before, but her background is intensely political, and she has served as a minister in more... More

27 Oct, 2010

CFWD is delighted to announce that it has secured Heritage Lottery Fund funding to run a project researching and recording the history, lives and experiences of women ... More

14 Oct, 2010

Proposals to appoint a dozen city mayors without either a referendum or an election are alarming on a number of levels. The Local Government Minister, Bob Neill, indicated at the recent... More

11 Oct, 2010

38% of Labour's new shadow ministerial team are women - 39 out of the total 101 appointed by new Leader Ed Miliband over the last few days. After the addition of... More

8 Oct, 2010

Eight women have been elected to Labour's new Shadow Cabinet - two more than the rules required. A woman - Yvette Cooper - topped the poll by some... More

2 Sep, 2010

95% of respondents said that the recent increase in women MPs of 2.5% is unacceptable, with 45% supporting comulsory quotas for the House of Commons and 62% advocating them for... More

24 Aug, 2010

Only a quarter of Australian MPs elected at the recent general election are women, a fall of almost 3% from the pre-election level. The percentage of women in the Australian House... More

20 Aug, 2010

Forty years ago the Equal Pay Act was passed, yet recent research by the Chartered Management Institute shows that at the present rate of progress it will be at least... More

21 May, 2010

The new Government's promise to 'shake up democracy' has dumped the contents of the recent all-party Speaker's Conference Report on Parliamentary Representation. Earlier this year the Speaker’s Conference on Parliamentary Representation... More

7 May, 2010

Thursday's General Election has resulted in the election of  142 women MPs - only 22% of the total 649. At the dissolution of parliament in April, there were 126 women MPs... More

30 Apr, 2010

Figures puiblished by CFWD today show that just 21% of general election candidates are women - a mere 1% more than in 2005 and only 3% more than... More

23 Apr, 2010

Between them the three main political parties are fielding a record number of women candidates for the 2010 general election. Overall, 25% of candidates for the Conservative, Labour and... More

20 Apr, 2010

CFWD's analysis of recent polls suggests that, although there will be a small increase in the number of women MPs, the percentage increase is unlikely to exceed 5%. This would... More

15 Mar, 2010

The Fawcett Society, together with other organisations including CFWD, has launched a campaign called 'What About Women'. They have written to all the political parties to ask their views on... More

4 Mar, 2010

The latest round of elections across the world has seen the UK slip from 69th to 73rd place (out of 187 countries) in the international league table of women’s representation... More

11 Feb, 2010

On Monday 8th February Costa Rica elected its first female president in a landslide victory.   The ruling party candidate, Laura Chinchilla, was elected after gaining 47% of the vote putting her... More

10 Feb, 2010

Harriet Harman and the Spanish Equalities Minister Bibiana Aido Almagro co-hosted the 2nd Women in Power Summit in Cadiz on 3rd February. This event brought together an unprecedented number of EU... More

3 Feb, 2010

As the General Election creeps ever closer, the Centre for Women & Democracy is preparing three projects for the election period. Firstly, we will be looking at how women fare at... More

11 Jan, 2010

CFWD has welcomed the final report of the Speaker’s Conference, published this morning, which has accepted the main proposals in CFWD's submission to it. Women currently constitute just 19.5% of Members... More

3 Dec, 2009

A new bill submitted to the French parliament this week will, if passed, require half of all board members of leading French companies to be women by 2015. At present, just... More

2 Dec, 2009

The Equalities & Human Rights Commission has announced that it has issued compliance notices to three local authorities warning that they need to take steps immediately to address gender inequality... More

30 Nov, 2009

The National Childbirth Trust  has today released a report suggesting that many women returining to work after maternity leave are not receiving the support they need. They surveyed 1,500 women... More

19 Nov, 2009

Big business is failing to get more women onto its boards, a new report says. The Cranfield School of Management's 2009 Female FTSE report shows that, despite much hype and discussion during... More

18 Nov, 2009

Prior to the Queen's Speech, there had been some speculation that the Equalities Bill might not be included in it. However, it has survived any hypothetical axe there may have... More

13 Nov, 2009

Tate Britain has named its first female director. Dr Penelope Curtis was selected to replace the current director, Dr Stephen Deuchar who is leaving after eleven years in the post. In... More

13 Nov, 2009

Last year the gender pay gap narrowed very slightly, according to a report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Pay rates for full-time women workers rose by 4%, whilst... More

10 Nov, 2009

The World Health Organisation's new report on the health of women and girls has found that, although women live longer than men, they are not necessarily either healthier or happier. The... More

6 Nov, 2009

New research shows only 15% of candidates selected through open primaries for seats where the MP is retiring are women.  Initial work by the Centre for Women & Democracy (CFWD) has... More

5 Nov, 2009

It may be more than 400 years since the Gunpowder Plot, but it's also 137 years since the American suffrage campaigner Susan B Anthony tried to make a different point about the... More

31 Oct, 2009

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, then prime minister of India. She remains a figure who inspires mixed feelings at home as well as abroad,... More

30 Oct, 2009

Today is Equal Pay Day, a reminder that the UK is still some distance away from achieving true equal pay, and that women are still significantly underpaid in many areas.... More

29 Oct, 2009

There has been a lot of conjecture recently about the possible candidates for the roles of the permanent President of EU Council and the Foreign Policy Chief, who will also... More

5 Oct, 2009

As regular visitors to our site will notice, the CFWD website has had a makeover. The main content of the site has remained the same and we will continue to... More