New beginnings for the Northern Ireland Assembly Women's Caucus
The first meeting of the cross-party Northern Ireland Assembly’s Women’s Caucus took place on Monday 10 October 2016.
The vision for the Caucus is to create “A united Women’s Assembly Caucus, working together irrespective of political party affiliation, to ensure equality for all; to provide an opportunity for women to exchange and ensure there is cross-party collaboration on ideas; to form collective platforms on particular policies and actions, and; to support one another on issues and areas of common concern”.
Chairperson of the Caucus, Caitríona Ruane MLA said: “The first meeting of the Women’s Caucus is an important one, it is a new beginning for the Assembly in terms of addressing gender imbalance and being at the forefront of change. This is a big step forward for women in political and public life.”
Deputy Chairperson Paula Bradley MLA said: “This is an important day for the Assembly and one which we will all hopefully look back on with pride when the Assembly is leading the way forward in terms of gender equality.”
The Assembly Women’s Caucus will over the coming months be assessing how best they can take forward their agenda. The Caucus will provide a unique opportunity to tackle the under-representation of women in political and public life.
Dr Gareth McGrath, Executive Director of Politics Plus said “The contribution and commitment of our female MLAs here in the Northern Ireland Assembly cannot be overstated and I am delighted that with the creation of the Assembly Women’s Caucus; they now have a platform from which to influence and to inspire. Addressing the under- representation of women is at the very core of the work we do through Politics Plus and I look forward to working with the Assembly Women’s Caucus to further develop and strengthen this important initiative”.
The first meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus elected as Chairperson Caitríona Ruane MLA, with Paula Bradley MLA, being elected as Deputy Chair.
Members of the Caucus include:
Kellie Armstrong MLA
Rosemary Barton MLA
Michaela Boyle MLA
Paula Bradley MLA
Joanne Bunting MLA
Claire Hanna MLA
Emma Little Pengelly MLA
Carla Lockhart MLA
Jennifer McCann MLA
Sandra Overend MLA
Caitríona Ruane MLA
Clare Bailey MLA
Claire Sugden , Minister of Justice