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How is our work influencing life in Northern Ireland and delivering equality? Learn more about our policy, legal and research work.

Related work

Participation in public life
Participation in public life

What you need to know

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‘Section 75’ investigations

We can carry out investigations under the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in these circumstances:

  • Paragraph 10 provides that when the Commission receives a complaint made in accordance with that paragraph of failure by a public authority to comply with its approved equality scheme, the Commission will either investigate the complaint, or provide reasons for not investigating.
  • Paragraph 11 empowers the Commission to undertake investigations to allow any other investigation [i.e. other than paragraph 10] where it believes that a public authority may have failed to comply with its approved equality scheme.

    We can therefore only investigate a public authority under Paragraph 11 if we form a belief that the public authority may have failed to comply with its approved equality scheme.

    Para 11 investigations can be generated purely from within the Commission´s own knowledge, or from matters of general importance brought to its attention by interested third parties.

Women in public life

  • Chief Executive Evelyn Collins spoke about the use of positive action to increase the participation of women in politics at a joint WRDA/QUB conference in 2012. Read the speech notes (pdf)
  • In 2013 the Commission published ‘Childcare: Maximising the Economic Participation of Women’ (pdf) which highlighted the need for affordable childcare – one of the barriers to participation in political and public life. View summary report (pdf)
  • At the last General Election, we supported the Women’s Manifesto.

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