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Bid to help women take lead in Northern Ireland politics

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 17/04/2015

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill (centre) with Sandra Overend MLA (left) and Paula Bradley MLA at the launch of the Women in Politics leadership programme at Stormont yesterday
Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill (centre) with Sandra Overend MLA (left) and Paula Bradley MLA at the launch of the Women in Politics leadership programme at Stormont yesterday

With just 34 women standing out of Northern Ireland's 138 candidates for Westminster, the launch of a new leadership programme at Stormont couldn't have been more timely.

The project aiming to encourage women to enter political life has just been launched.

The Women in Politics programme, developed by Politics Plus, will focus on core issues such as effective leadership, influencing skills, critical thinking and decision-making.

Its director Dr Gareth McGrath said: "We are fortunate to have many excellent and inspiring female elected representatives.

"However, with only 21 female MLAs, making up just under 20% of all MLAs in the Assembly, more needs to be done to encourage women."

The programme will also incorporate some recommendations from the Assembly and Executive Review Committee Inquiry on Women in Politics.

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