Cllr Leanne Peacock, Chair of the Women’s Committee on Causeway Coast and Glens Council, has written a message to Women ahead of International Women’s Day.
In writing Cllr Peacokck said:
“This years international Women’s Day comes amid global crisis. The most difficult period that many people here will have faced in a generation.
“Millions of women have been driven out of the workforce as a result however, we cannot let this period of upheaval unwind years of progress towards gender equality in the workplace.
“That is the message of this years International Women’s Day along with the statistics that only 1 in 3 employees including managers challenge gender bias in the workplace when they see it. So this year we are all being asked to Choose to Challenge. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough. We need to take action and #ChooseToChallenge bias wherever we see it.
“We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
“To all those women leading the fight against COVID-19 and providing vital services to their communities within healthcare, science, law, pharmacy, as carers at home and in the community and on the frontline maintaining food services, community services and support and all those within their work and private lives who are working through this pandemic for the benefit of the entire community. We salute you on this International Women’s Day with your male counterparts who have kept society going through the hardest times in a generation.
“I am proud in this year to have established our Women’s Committee on Council bringing elected members and staff together to provide an important platform for gender inclusivity in Causeway Coast and Glens and to bring a focus and promotion to the key issues impacting women and girls across our society. There is great value in the empowerment of women and girls in every sphere of society and I look forward to working with all my colleagues in the time ahead to ensure that these goals are a key focus of this council.
“While our council can boast the highest number of female elected representatives in any council in the north, there is still a long way to go on female inclusion and gender equality at all levels of society. Gender equality is closely linked to social and economic development and collaboration between all stakeholders is necessary if we are to build a regional ecosystem that supports female inclusion, we need to work with our counterparts in central government and private society to build networks, continue conversations and push for change. We need to empower more women to seek political office and positions of leadership across all levels of government and civic society and we hope that the establishment and work of this committee will go some way to achieving this in the months and years to come.
“International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on our global achievements and how far we have come up to 2021 but also encourages us to recognise the amount of work still to be done to ensure gender parity across society.There are many women in this country and across the world who are still suffering, who are still oppressed and do not enjoy the same benefits as their male counterparts. This is a day to recommit ourselves to press forward for change, locally, nationally and internationally in the fight for gender equality and a day to recognise the achievements and invaluable contributions of women right across society. Today we can commit to taking forward the message of this years International Women’s Day and #ChooseToChallenge gender bias is all its forms wherever we see it across society.
“Happy International Women’s Day!”