Anne Wilson said: “As the only woman standing in North Down I am very disappointed that only 17% of the candidates for the Assembly are women. This compares badly with Wales where 48% of Assembly members are women and Scotland where 36% of their Parliament’s members are women.
“Alliance is leading the way in changing this in Northern Ireland with the highest proportion of women as candidates out of all the five big parties.
“Both Scotland and Wales have adopted family friendly policies including normal working hours and I would hope that Northern Ireland would examine this and other options.
“Since January, 10% of Assembly plenary sessions have run after midnight. Almost half the plenary sessions have continued beyond 8pm.
“Such hours are unacceptable and unnecessary and would deter women or indeed men from standing for the Assembly.
“I believe that the new Assembly must follow the example of Scotland and Wales and consider revising meeting times and introduce family friendly hours to enable greater participation in local politics.”