The Women's Equality Party: Emergence, organisation and challenges

Elizabeth Evans, Meryl Kenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Women's political parties are designed to increase women's representation in politics. More than thirty have been established in Europe since 1987, yet there has been little systematic analysis of why and when they emerge, how they organize, and what challenges they face. We argue that the study of women's parties can offer insights into questions concerning inter and intra-party power relations and the relationship between social movements and political parties, whilst also contributing to broader debates around the 'big questions' of representation, gender (in)equality, and the dynamics of political inclusion and exclusion. This article explores these issues through a case study analysis of the UK's Women's Equality Party. Drawing upon original empirical research undertaken with party activists and officials, we argue that the party's impact has been constrained by wider organizational logics and an unequal party system, whilst it has so far adhered to traditional (male-dominated) patterns of party organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-871
Number of pages18
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number4
Early online date2 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • women's parties
  • political parties
  • women's representation
  • Women's Equality Party
  • women's movements
  • electoral systems

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