International Women’s Day highlights opportunities for women

Alliance MLA for Strangford Kellie Armstrong has said that International Women’s Day highlights the opportunities open to women in business, politics and public life.

Mrs Armstrong was speaking after an event organised by the Assembly Women’s Caucus at Stormont to mark International Women’s Day 2020. Around 100 young women from a range of organisations met with MLAs to hear first hand the experiences of female politicians.

Kellie Armstrong said: “The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March is ‘An equal world is an enabled world’ and it is unfortunate that in 2020 women are still striving for equality. Great improvements have been made in recent years, but there is more to be done.

“There are many more barriers to women entering the world of business or public life than there are for men, so we must work harder to overcome them. Even when the barriers are broken down, women are frequently subjected to criticism or abuse that a man would not have to endure. That is not acceptable.

“The event organised at the Assembly to mark International Women’s Day on enabled young women to meet with and learn from women who have already made the move into politics. We were able to speak of our own experiences, from dealing with family issues to handling misogyny in politics. It was particularly important to highlight the sense of achievement when an issue or policy we have been working on comes good for the benefit of our citizens. I went into politics to make a positive contribution to our community and every day is a joy when I can help a constituent.

“It was very encouraging to see so many young women interested in political life visiting Stormont. I believe each additional woman who moves into the political world takes us a step closer to achieving equality and I am sure many of those who visited Stormont will be interested in taking that step.”