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2018 will mark 100 years since The Representation of the People Act and The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act was passed to reform the electoral system in Great Britain which for the first time extended voting rights to some women of and gave women over the age of 21 the right to stand for election as an MP. Both pieces of legislation marked major advances for women’s political participation and empowerment. The celebration of this historical moment provides a timely opportunity to reflect upon the advances that have been made for women’s political participation, power and leadership in the UK, as well as considering the persiting  challenges and contrasting and comparing with the situation in other countries. 

Building on upon findings and recommendations of the British Council’s recent report on Gender equality and empowerment of women & girls in the UK: Meeting the Challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals the research will examine the current situation in the four nations of the UK to provide an in-depth report on the current picture of women’s political participation, power and leadership, highlighting the progress that has been made, existing strengths and persisting gaps, challenges and priorities.  

By considering decision making levels within Westminster, devolved parliaments and local government, women's political participation and engagement as well as the role of civil society in influencing and holding democratic institutions to account, we hope to provide a realistic picture of the UK’s current position in this area, contribute to the achievement of SDG five  in the UK and globally and support UK and international stakeholders working in this sphere to learn from each other and to collaborate more closely. 

We are seeking a consultant/s to undertake this piece of research with a view to publishing and disseminating the report from June 2018. Further information about the research and submission process can be found in the Terms of Reference. Clarification questions should be sent to by Tuesday 5 December and will be published on this website by Friday 8 December. All proposals should be sent to by midday on Friday 15 December.