Equality Document Paving Way for Women

Article excerpt

Byline: BY ANNE PALMER

POLITICALLY they may be poles apart, but being a young mother in public life is one thing Arlene Foster and Michelle Gildernew have in common.

Both woman, who juggle family, career and political lives, were guest speakers at the launch of Fermanagh Women's Network's latest report on gender equality.

The research report titled Stepping Out as Equals was written by Marie Crawley.

Isobel Cleary, Fermanagh Women's Network development officer, said the research found significant inequality in political representation in Fermanagh.

"Despite the high proportion of women active in most political parties, women are not being fielded as election candidates and, subsequently, there is a highly significant imbalance in the number of women being represented at a political level,'' she said.

At local council level, only one of 23 councillors is female. The under-representation of women at council level also means there are fewer places open to them on the boards of organisations, such as the Western Education and Library Board, Western Health and Social Services Council and the Local Strategy Partnership. …