Assembly Women’s Caucus Brings Its First Motion to the Assembly on International Women’s Day
Session: Session currently unavailable
Date: 08 March 2021
Today - International Women's Day, the Northern Ireland Assembly Women's Caucus brought forward its first motion for debate in the Assembly. The motion called on the Assembly to endorse and adopt the Women's Caucus Action Plan to create a Gender Sensitive Northern Ireland Assembly.
Clare Bailey MLA, Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women's Caucus said:
"Marginalisation of women from the political sphere is not a theory, nor is it an opinion, it is a known fact. Our current count of 35% women MLAs is not good enough.
“The Women’s Caucus is working to address this marginalisation by focusing on the structural barriers to women's full participation in political life, and creating targeted actions to break down those barriers and work towards a vision of a Northern Ireland where women are equally represented in politics.”
Ms. Bailey continued:
“Our aim is to encourage women to get into politics, to support them when they're elected, enable them to remain in those positions, and champion their progression. We called on the Northern Ireland Assembly today to endorse our Gender Sensitive Assembly Action Plan. The potential here is transformative."
Rosemary Barton MLA, Deputy Chairperson of the Women's Caucus said:
"We want to create a Gender Sensitive Northern Ireland Assembly that is accessible and that facilitates and promotes equality and participation. There is work to be done, and the Women's Caucus Action Plan lays out essential and achievable priorities, and strategic well targeted interventions for the Assembly environment, its processes and structures, as well as for the political parties.
Mrs Barton concluded:
“A Gender Sensitive Assembly is founded on the principle of gender equality so that both men and women can access their equal right to participate without discrimination."
Notes to Editor:
- Today’s motion is based on the recommendations contained in the Assembly Executive Review Committee report on Women in Politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly, which proposed the adoption of measures from local, national and international best practice to create a Gender Sensitive Northern Ireland Assembly.
- The report considered the key challenges and barriers facing women in relation to entry into politics in Northern Ireland and in particular, into the Northern Ireland Assembly. The report also offered recommendations on mechanisms to enhance the role of women already active in the political sphere as a matter of urgency to address the under-representation of women in politics in Northern Ireland.
- The Women's Caucus Action Plan is based on targeted measures to create a Gender Sensitive Assembly, which focuses on four pillars: processes that facilitate universal participation, actions that promote equality and participation, an accessible environment, and gender-sensitive political parties.
- Further information about the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus can be found on the Northern Ireland Assembly website
Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus Membership:
Membership of the Caucus is open to all Women MLAs. A Cross Party Steering Group over-seeing the Caucus’ strategic direction meets bi monthly.
- Clare Bailey MLA – Green Party – Chair
- Rosemary Barton MLA – UUP – Deputy Chair
- Kellie Armstrong MLA – Alliance
- Paula Bradley MLA – DUP
- Sinéad Bradley MLA – SDLP
- Joanne Bunting MLA – DUP
- Pam Cameron MLA – DUP
- Jemma Dolan MLA – SF
- Sinéad Ennis MLA – SF
- Dolores Kelly MLA – SDLP
- Michelle McIlveen MLA – DUP
- Emma Sheerin MLA – SF
- Claire Sugden MLA – Independent
- Lesley Hogg – Clerk to the Assembly/Chief Executive
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