Women parliamentarians of Northern Ireland

Social and legislative context

Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast.

1918: Representation of the People Act allowed women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification to vote.

1918: Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act; for the first time, women are allowed to be MPs.

1928: Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act; all women over 21 can now vote – 52% of the electorate in Northern Ireland.

1947: Education Act (Northern Ireland) prevents female teachers from being dismissed after marriage.

1948: Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1968-69: Rioting and violence in Northern Ireland as the Troubles begin.

1970: Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland).

1975: NI Women's Rights Movement formed.

1976: Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order.

1979: UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is founded.

1993: UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

1998: The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement includes the right of women to 'full and equal political participation'.

2006: OFMDFM launches Gender Equality Strategy.

2016: Northern Ireland Assembly Women's Caucas established.


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