Blog article by Naomi Roberts on women's participation in public life
New research launched by the Institute of Peace Studies calls for the Northern Ireland Executive to put in place measures to enable and encourage women’s participation.
Unfortunately for women in Northern Ireland, we know that the research and public discussion highlights security issues and threats that women leaders in the community, justice and security sectors have encountered from their participation in peacebuilding before, during, and after the Good Friday Agreement – just knowing this is a possible consequence could put many talented women off considering a role in public life.
So what do we want women to do? We want them, we need them to participate in public life. We want them to contribute to public decision making, we want them to sit on boards - from those in their local community and voluntary organisations to the government appointed boards such our own board here in the Equality Commission.
We also need their participation in political life, e.g. as political representatives; members of political fora at various levels, political party members, councillors, MLAs and MPs.