Alliance MLAs Anna Lo and Judith Cochrane have highlighted the lack of female representation in politics. Both MLAs were taking part in an Assembly debate focussed on encouraging more women to enter public life.
Anna Lo MLA stressed the need for action rather than continuous debate, further highlighting the lack of representation from young people, ethnic minorities and members of the LGBT community in the political arena.
Anna Lo MLA said: “Tribal politics and the lack of delivery on many bread and butter issues can turn women off politics. They can often view the Assembly as a hot house for trivial party politics and bickering.
“However we make important decisions at the Assembly, affecting the daily lives of our population and need both sexes to make informed and balanced decisions. We need more female politicians, not just to highlight women’s or family issues, but to give a comprehensive, all-round basis for the decision making process.
“The general frustration with politics is a significant factor – but it’s not just women who are not getting involved, but also people with moderate views, young people, ethnic minorities and members of the LGBT community, which must be addressed.”
Judith Cochrane MLA added: “In politics, fewer than 20% of parliamentarians worldwide are women, whilst economically women currently hold only 4.6% of the Fortune 500 CEO positions. If this imbalance is to be rectified, we must address the various barriers that are holding women back.
“The inflated egos of some of our male politicians and the culture of political point scoring do little to attract women.
“We must encourage and enable more women to participate in Northern Ireland’s often spirited and challenging environment – an environment that would be all the more enriched for such input.”