Yasmin Ratansi MP’s visit to Northern Ireland
Politics Plus were delighted to host a visit from Yasmin Ratansi MP in June 2017.
Yasmin was the first Muslim woman in North America to be elected to a Parliament in 2004. As a Member of the Liberal Party, Yasmin has served in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004-2011 and again since 2015, representing the riding of Don Valley East, Toronto. Yasmin is also one of Canada’s most influential women and a global campaigner and activist promoting multi-faith democracy and gender equality.
During her visit, Yasmin was a guest speaker at the Politics Plus Ambassadors’ Forum. She also took time to meet the Lord Mayor of Belfast, students from Lagan Integrated College, MLAs and Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Parliamentary Caucus.
During the Ambassadors’ Forum, Yasmin gave an inspirational speech to our guests, stating that “no challenge was impossible”. This was a poignant message for the forum, whose purpose is to bring together Politics Plus programme participants, MLAs and experts, to build a network of support for a more equal society in Northern Ireland.
As a cause close to her heart, Yasmin was delighted to meet with the Student Council of Northern Ireland’s first integrated school, Lagan Integrated College. During this visit the Student Council had the opportunity to ask Yasmin questions about her work and how the education system in Canada differs from our system here in Northern Ireland. The visit also shed light on why multi-faith education was so ground-breaking in 1980’s Northern Ireland.
Following her visit to Lagan College, Yasmin had the opportunity to meet with Members of the Women’s Caucus in Parliament Buildings. The National Liberal Women’s Caucus in Canada has been an inspiration for Politics Plus and helped inform some of the aspirations for the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus. As Yasmin is a Member of the Women’s Caucus in the Canadian Parliament, this was the perfect opportunity for our MLA’s to gain insight on how to grow and develop the Caucus in Northern Ireland. This opportunity to exchange knowledge was invaluable for our Caucus Members and for Yasmin. Politics Plus will continue to build this relationship between the Caucuses, so that best practice can be developed on an international scale.