'It’s Not Just Tea and Buns’: Women and Pro‐Union Politics in Northern Ireland


Ward, Rachel J. 2004. “‘It’s Not Just Tea and Buns’: Women and Pro‐union Politics in Northern Ireland.” The British Journal of Politics & International Relations 6 (4): 494-506.

Author: Rachel J. Ward


This article assesses the reasons for the ongoing under-representation of women in Northern Ireland politics, with particular reference to women who take a pro-union stance. The stereotype that unionist women ‘just make the tea’ is challenged through evidence that they participate in many different tiers of government and in community organisations. The article draws upon qualitative evidence of pro-union women’s political activism and their motivations, analysed through perspectives from the literature on gender, nationalism and participation. The article argues that while women remain under-represented, particularly in the more powerful and salaried regional and national levels of government, they also do more than the stereotype allows.

Topics: Gender, Women, Nationalism, Political Participation Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2004

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