Spotlight on Department for Communities ‘Daughters of the Vote’ event on International Women’s Day 2018

Published: 15th March 2018, 3:41pm

Spotlight on Department for Communities ‘Daughters of the Vote’ event on International Women’s Day 2018

Panel line up for the Successful Women event discussing how to inspire potential female leaders and shape a future built on equality

As part of a series of events Daughters of the Vote’ marked International Women’s Day with an afternoon of provocative thoughts and challenging questions and insights into growing future female leaders in all areas of society and shaping a future built on equality. The event, held at the Manor House, Cultra, hosted by Department for Communities, was a celebration of success, drive and determination for leading women in Northern Ireland to meet and network.

Throwing a spotlight on success invited women including Debbie Mehaffey, Eileen Bell, Shirley McCay, Mandy Patrick and Joanne Jennings, shared their experiences and advice in achieving excellence with female guests across politics, sport, academia, media, business and community. Following this, a panel, hosted by political journalist Tracey Magee, discussed ways of encouraging young women to step forward, lead society, participate in sports and flourish on social media. Members of the panel included Paula Bradley MLA, Laura Briggs, Megan Fearon MLA, Prof Deirdre Heenan, Breedagh Hughes, Laure James and Dr Jennifer McKinley.

Stepping into the spotlight during the event, Joanne Jennings, Head of Programmes at Politics Plus, delivered a call to action urging all present to encourage women they know to get involved in a new PEACE IV programme writing the next chapter in our future. Joanne said,

Politics Plus is developing an ambitious new civic leadership programme, specifically for women of all ages and backgrounds who want to make a difference to their own lives and who want to play an active part in their communities and in public and political life. As leaders of today and tomorrow, I’d like to ask you to open your professional and personal networks to encourage your women colleagues and friends and family to apply. The programme officially launches in May and women can pre-register their interest at

The Next Chapter aims to improve the representation of women in public and political life and contribute to a more gender-sensitive society in Northern Ireland and the border regions of the Republic of Ireland. For more information visit

A full year of activities are planned to mark the Centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. For full and up to date information, visit



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