Power sharing hinges on cooperation between communal parties who are expected to mobilise citizens in support of the new political system. Yet, women are often ill-served and their political differences exacerbated by such arrangements. Mindful of this finding and using data from the 2015 Northern Ireland Election Survey, we examine differences in party attachment between Catholic and Protestant women. The results suggest that Catholic women are more likely to claim a party attachment than Protestant women and a key factor in accounting for this phenomenon is differences in their levels of endorsement and perceived effectiveness of the two main political parties.
This study was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (Award: ES/L007320/1).