I'm an ESRC-funded PhD researcher currently researching women's political representation in Welsh local government. I also currently teach as a Graduate Teaching Assistant on some undergraduate modules. I completed my BScEcon in Sociology here at Cardiff in 2016, followed by my MSc Social Science Research Methods in 2017.
Master's dissertation: ‘It really does make a difference to people’s lives': A critical exploration of an NGO’s role in empowering women to become engaged with public life and their local community.
Current Thesis: A critical exploration of the representation of women in Welsh local government.
Current thesis title: A critical exploration of the representation of women in Welsh local government.
My current research interests include:
- women's political representation
- civic participation
- women's empowerment
I am also broadly interested in: gender; inequality; politics; social theory; social movements; and social policy.
I am Module Convenor of the following modules:
- PLT19A5135A - The Political System in Wales
I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant, currently teaching seminars for:
- SI0281 - Key Ideas in Social Science
- SI0206 - Power, Politics, and Policy
I have previously taught seminars for:
- SI0276 - Becoming a Social Scientist
- SI0292 - Developing Scholarship through the Social Sciences
A critical exploration of the representation of women in Welsh local government
Local government is often asserted as being more accessible to women than national politics, however, a House of Commons report has found that women still constitute only 32% of local authority councillors in England, and only 26% in Wales. As local councils, according to the Fawcett Society, benefit from ¼ of the UK’s entire public spending budget, a figure approximated to be around £100bn, and following the recent favouring of further decentralisation giving local governments more power, it is extremely worrying that women are still underrepresented at this level of governance and representation.
I will be exploring links between the numbers of female councillors present in Welsh local government (descriptive representation), and the content of the policy produced (substantive representation), as well as examining how the concepts of critical mass and critical actors play-out at the local level. Moreover, influenced by literature concerning feminist institutionalism, I will research the political styles, working practices and masculine culture found in Welsh local government, which further affects women's political representation, with specific attention given to the impact of these on women's ability to progress to leadership positions. My research aims to use in-depth qualitative methods which are traditionally under-utilised in this field, to further understand the relationship between gender and the experiences of elected councillors, uncovering how gender inequalities are reproduced in small-scale interactions, and the institutional setting as a whole.