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Gen+ParlNet: Gender-Focused Parliamentary Institutions Research Network

Parliaments are where the laws which govern and shape our societies are created. As institutions they influence both who is able to make these laws and how these laws are made. Parliaments have been working to improve their representation and practices. However, with women still outnumbered almost 3:1 in parliaments worldwide, academic research is needed to understand the role of parliaments and specialised parliamentary bodies in promoting gender equality.

For over a decade parliamentarians, scholars and activists have been working to highlight what has been done, what works, and what more is needed to make parliamentary institutions more gender equal spaces. While working towards a common aim, this agenda must encompass a broad diversity of parliaments, with varying sizes, practices and cultures. Further, parliaments themselves are not unified bodies and are composed of different actors and institutions. As such, while there has been progress in parliaments as institutions - with many undertaking gender and diversity audits and pursuing programmes to address the issues - it is not linear or evenly spread.

Gen+ParlNet is currently convened by Cherry Miller (Helsinki University), Saša Gavrić (University of Leipzig) and Minna Cowper-Coles (King’s College London). The convenors welcome any suggestions for co-sponsored events, including conferences and specialised seminars. Please get in touch here.


Gen+ParlNet connects academics and practitioners who are working to better understand how parliaments and gender equality-focused parliamentary bodies work, how they were established, and their impact from an intersectional perspective. We are especially interested in the critical actors involved in their establishment and operation, the linkages with other institutions required for effective impact and their engagement with women’s civil society organisations.



Since the early 2000s, international organisations – chief among them, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Inter-Parliamentary Union – have directed attention and research to the gender sensitivity of parliaments. Academic attention to the subject followed has been spearheaded by specialised panels at various conferences.

At the Third European Conference on Politics and Gender in Barcelona in 2013 Marian Sawer and Joan Grace convened a meeting to establish an international network linking researchers, coordinating research projects and promoting cumulative knowledge on the subject. The new network was called Gender-Focused Parliamentary Institutions Research Network or GenParlNet (now Gen+ParlNet).



Gen+ParlNet works through convening panels at international conferences, hosting webinars and sharing information through a newsletter.


Join the Network

We always welcome new members interested in sharing their research and contribution to gender-focused parliamentary institutions. Please get in touch here.

Our Partners

Leipzig University

Leipzig University