Assembly Women’s Caucus

Assembly Women’s Caucus

At its meeting on 12 February 2020, the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus elected Clare Bailey MLA as its new Chair and Rosemary Barton MLA as its new Deputy Chair. The Caucus thanked outgoing Chair Megan Fearon and Deputy Chair Kellie Armstrong MLA for all their hard work and commitment during their tenure.

The current membership of the Caucus Steering Group is listed below.

  1. Clare Bailey – Green Party – Chair
  2. Rosemary Barton MLA – UUP – Deputy Chair
  3. Kellie Armstrong MLA – Alliance
  4. Paula Bradley MLA – DUP
  5. Sinéad Bradley MLA – SDLP
  6. Joanne Bunting MLA – DUP
  7. Pam Cameron MLA – DUP
  8. Jemma Dolan MLA – SF
  9. Sinéad Ennis MLA – SF
  10. Dolores Kelly MLA – SDLP
  11. Michelle McIlveen MLA – DUP
  12. Emma Sheerin MLA – SF
  13. Claire Sugden – Independent
  14. Lesley Hogg – Clerk to the Assembly/Chief Executive



Background to the Launch of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus

Tuesday 8 March 2016, International Women’s Day, marked an historical day in the political history of the Assembly, with the formal launch of the cross-party Women’s Caucus.

Politics Plus was instrumental in establishing the ground-breaking Assembly Women’s Caucus. Dr Gareth McGrath, as Executive Director of Politics Plus, said “we are thrilled that our hard work has paid off and that the Assembly Women’s Caucus was launched to mark International Women’s Day. The Politics Plus team have worked tirelessly to ensure that this truly historic event is in motion, trailblazing the way for women in politics!”

The vision of 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”.

Politics Plus are delighted to have forged the way for the Caucus to form, which will provide a unique opportunity to tackle the under-representation of women in political life, one of Politics Plus’ core objectives. The Caucus will be concerned primarily with the review of policy and legislation from a gender perspective, increasing the representation of women in the leadership of parliamentary committees, building capacity and empowering women MLAs, advocating gender equality on a local, national and international level and promoting gender-mainstreaming within the Assembly.

Chairperson of the Caucus, Caitríona Ruane said: “We are changing history for women in political and public life. The Assembly Women’s Caucus will be at the forefront in addressing the gender imbalance. We, the Caucus, will work together to grow a more open and supportive Assembly for our current and future female leaders.  We want to see more women in the Assembly and on public boards.”

Deputy Chairperson Paula Bradley said: “I am proud to be part of this momentous launch! The Assembly Women’s Caucus provides us with a vehicle to push gender related issues and the representation of women higher on the agenda, in terms of policy and legislation.”

Founding Membership

  • Caitríona Ruane, MLA, Sinn Fein, Chairperson
  • Paula Bradley, MLA, DUP, Deputy Chairperson
  • Emma Pengelly, MLA, DUP
  • Brenda Hale, MLA, DUP
  • Pamela Cameron, MLA, DUP
  • Rosie McCorley, MLA, Sinn Fein
  • Karen McKevitt, MLA, SDLP
  • Claire Hanna, MLA, SDLP
  • Sandra Overend, MLA, UUP
  • Judith Cochrane, MLA, Alliance Party
  • Claire Sugden, MLA, Independent