Sinn Féin Councillor Leanne Peacock has established a new ‘Women’s Committee’ on Council through a successful motion to Committee on Tuesday night.
Speaking passionately on the issue at Committee Cllr Peacock said: “Over the last century, significant progress has been made in women’s numerical representation in politics around the world. But all too often, this has not directly translated into greater political influence. Political equality remains a distant goal.”
“We are political representatives. We have a duty to challenge and change the unequal, unspoken and sometimes un noticed gender norms that exist within political life and whether we want to admit it or not exists within this council and every other sphere of political influence here and indeed worldwide.
“I am a young female, relatively new, elected representative of 30 years old and I am determined to make political life and indeed the closely linked community and civic life more accessible and equitable for fellow women.”
“ I do not accept the unequal gender norms or the lack of confidence that many women within every walk of life including ours suffer or the unequal political influence that exists, according to research, in political life and I will not accept the fact that female representatives are faced with more harassment and abuse than our male counterparts and I am determined to do something about it. I am pleased to bring forward this motion that will bring together our representatives from all parties and none to look specifically at these issues and indeed many others to educate and empower. We may be able to harness experience and expertise to share experience, skills and find a way to tackle some of the serious issues impacting women in our society in political life and outside it.”
“ I am passionate about this issue, I , for example, was the only female candidate out of 12 on the ballot paper in the Ballymoney DEA when I stood for election last year. This is not good enough. Women are still woefully under represented at the highest levels of our society both inside and outside politics despite all our progress over the last century.”
“ I will continue to work to empower women and all those under-represented in key positions in society including those with disabilities and our young people. This a something that I am keen to use my position as an elected representative to champion.”