History and origins
RC 19 had its origins as an IPSA study group in 1976 and achieved research committee status in 1979. From its origins until 2003 its title was 'Sex Roles and Politics'. The first chair of RC19 was Margherita Rendel of the University of London. In 1981 she published a collection entitled Women, Power and Political Systems based on papers given to a meeting of the Sex Roles and Politics Study Group at the University of Essex in 1979 and then at the IPSA Congress in Moscow in the same year, where for the first time full research committee status was granted. In true IPSA style contributors came from all regions of the world and included Fanny Tabak from Brazil, Judith Stiehm and Beverly Cook from the USA, Sirkka Sinkkonen and Elina Haavio-Mannila from Finland, as well as contributors from Africa, Turkey and WHO.
The name of the Committee was changed in 2003, with the approval of the IPSA Executive, after an electronic ballot of members showed overwhelming support for a shift to 'Gender, Politics and Policy'.
RC 19 has been concerned with a broad array of issues over the three decades of its history. Major themes have included: political participation of women; affirmative action, quotas and parity; women and public policy in comparative perspective; women in public administration; women and politics in third world countries; women, religion and politics; the role of legislation and the status of women; women and the transition to democracy; strategies for the empowerment of women; feminist theory; women and nationalism; eco-feminism; and the global women's movement and international relations.
Published on Tuesday, September 16 2008 by Malin Wimelius