Speaker hosts Women’s Parliament to mark International Women’s Day

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 03 March 2022

Reference: SO 05/21/22

Tomorrow - Friday 4 March – will see Alex Maskey MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly host the Women’s Parliament in the Assembly Chamber in Parliament Buildings. Participants will call for an action plan to address the disproportionate economic and social impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women.

The event has been organised in conjunction with a range of community organisations and groups that advocate for women, champion women’s rights, and support women who live and work here. Participants will debate a range of issues, including access to healthcare, employment, caring responsibilities, childcare, poverty, and violence against women and girls.

Speaking about the event, the Speaker said: “I am really pleased to be chairing the Women’s Parliament and I look forward to welcoming the women to Parliament Buildings. The Assembly makes laws for all our citizens and it is essential that everyone can have their say on the laws and policies that impact them. This event enables participants to do that, and it is also a very fitting way for the Assembly to mark International Women’s Day.

“This sitting has been planned in partnership with many women’s groups and organisations. I hope this joint approach will make the participants feel valued and will appropriately reflect the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, ‘Break The Bias’.  We can all play our part in helping to create an inclusive place, free of bias and stereotypes and where differences can be celebrated.

 “I look forward to meeting the participants, listening to their concerns, and hearing how the Minister for Communities addresses the issues raised.”

The Women’s Parliament will be broadcast live from 1.00pm on Friday 4 March. It can be watched online via https://niassembly.tv and on the Assembly’s Facebook and YouTube streams. Proceedings will be interpreted using both British and Irish Sign Language.

The Women’s Parliament is the third in a series of outreach initiatives designed to enable people here to have their say on issues that concern them. The Speaker hosted the Pensioners’ Parliament in September 2021 and the Disabled People’s Parliament in December 2021.

As a further initiative to mark International Women’s Day 2022, Parliament Buildings will be lit purple on the evening of Tuesday 8 March.


Notes to Editor:

  • Participants in the Women’s Parliament will debate the following motion:

That this Women’s Parliament recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate economic and social impact on women, as highlighted in the Women’s Policy Group’s COVID-19 Feminist Recovery Plan; and calls on the Minister for Communities, together with her Ministerial colleagues, to co-ordinate a response across all departments and public bodies, and to work with experts in gender policy to formulate an action plan to address this imbalance.

  • Representatives from a range of women’s groups and organisations have helped to plan the Women’s Parliament, selecting the topic for debate, and co-ordinating speakers and participants.
  • Participants in the debate will use personal stories to highlight the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women, as well as the importance of creating an action plan to address this imbalance.
  • The Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA will take part in the debate.
  • The event will take place in the Assembly Chamber in Parliament Buildings. Some speakers may be in attendance virtually.
  • A recording and written transcript of proceedings will be available after the event.

For media inquiries please contact:

Caroline Moore

Deputy Communications Officer

Northern Ireland Assembly

Tel: 07900 278992

Email: caroline.moore@niassembly.gov.uk