National Women’s Council Announces Creation of all-island Women’s Forum
8th July 2021
Last week, the National Women’s Council (NWC) announced the setting up of an all-island Women’s Forum which will provide a space for women from across the island for cross border cooperation and dialogue.
Led by the National Women’s Council (NWC), the forum will consist of 12 members from the South and 12 members from the North of Ireland. The Women’s Forum aims to address underrepresentation of women and further develop women’s role in peacebuilding and civic society. Funded through the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund, the Women’s Forum will also support building sustainable North South links, provide a space for marginalised communities and build better understanding and inter-community links.
Emma DeSouza, Women’s Leadership Coordinator with NWC said,
“The benefit of women’s voices, particularly in peacebuilding and reconciliation, is well documented. Evidence demonstrates that women in peace processes are more likely to focus on reconciliation, economic development and transitional justice – all critical elements of a sustained peace. Such alliances are already evident across civil society on this island but remain an underutilised resource in advancing the peace process.”
She continued: “Women continue to be marginalised and underrepresented in decision making spaces and peacebuilding structures. In line with Security Council Resolution 1325, the Women’s Forum is a unique opportunity to develop the role of women in peacebuilding and to ensure women take their rightful place as leaders in society. By creating a space for greater dialogue and participation the forum can make an invaluable contribution to the island and to civic society.”
Louise Lovett, Chairperson of NWC said,
“The development of the Women’s Forum is a historic opportunity for the National Women’s Council to develop our all-island work in line with our new Strategic Plan ‘No Woman Left Behind’.
Building on the work of a number of National Women’s Council member groups and on the many links and cooperation that already exists between women leaders and women’s organisations North and South of the border, the Women’s Forum will contribute to highlighting and improving cooperation on key issues for women, including violence against women, poverty, planning for the recovery from the pandemic, climate action and the urban-rural divide.”