Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus joined a special debate in the Assembly Chamber to celebrate IWD 2020
Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus joined a special debate in the Assembly Chamber on Friday 6 March to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The event, hosted by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Alex Maskey, MLA, brought together 90 young women from 33 schools and youth organisations from across Northern Ireland.
The young women presented statements on the issues that are important to them, with topics ranging from: Rights, Equality and inclusion; Representation of Women; and Health and Well-being.
Speaking after the event, the Assembly Speaker said: “I am delighted to welcome so many young women to Parliament Buildings to celebrate International Women’s Day. The laws that are made here matter to the wider community, and International Women’s Day is the ideal time to create a platform to hear the voices of young women on the issues that are important to them.”
“In the past ten years the level of female representation in the Assembly has significantly improved but there is still much more to be done to reflect the percentage of women in our population. With greater female representation and participation, the Assembly can better reflect our local communities and effectively influence decision making and the provision of our public services.”
“I hope that having the opportunity to experience how the Assembly works first hand will encourage young women to get involved in the political process and help them to understand how they can be heard and influence decisions which impact on them.”
Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Clare Bailey MLA said: “The Women’s Caucus are dedicated to growing the female talent in Northern Ireland to lead, to govern and to represent. Lots of hard work across all our parties goes into making this a reality and there is no finer representation of our goals than seeing young women from across Northern Ireland argue for a better society.
This International Women’s Day the theme is #EachforEqual and we are inspired to see such a diverse range of young women, with so many different experiences in their lives, make the case for equality. We have been very impressed with all the conversations today. If these young women come forward to lead then the future is bright for Northern Ireland. We all have a responsibility to enable that.”
During the welcome in the Assembly Chamber Deputy Chair of the Women’s Caucus Rosemary Barton MLA said: “We want to learn from what you have to say today and we thank you for the opportunity to engage in this way.”