Women in Northern Ireland are under-represented in public life and local politics. That is why the Local Government Staff Commission (LGSC) whose remit includes the promotion of equality and diversity, launched the ‘Women in Councils – making a difference’ campaign.
All councils signed up to the Declaration of Principles, and gender equality plans. A network of champions drawn from elected members and political parties was set up which helped gain commitment, and as the project gathered momentum councillors began to offer mentoring opportunities to female equality champions.
Chief Executive Adrian Kerr said “This network proved crucial to the success of the project. All the political parties were involved”.
The results are impressive with the number of female councillors raised from 125 in 2005 to 137 in 2013.