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Guide to Government

The Women’s Sector Lobbyist is currently updating the WRDA Guide to the Northern Ireland Assembly, in the meantime if you would like to know the results of the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections and to get your head around the changes she has gathered together some useful information below:

Results of the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections May 2016

Declaration of Results for:
New Government Departments

The reduction of 12 Government Departments to 9 came in to effect from May.  New department names below, click on each Department to learn more about its functions.

Executive Office 
Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA)
Department for Infrastructure (DfI)
Department for the Economy (DfE)
Department of Education (DE)
Department of Finance (DoF)
Department of Health (DoH)
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Department for Communities (DfC)
Number of women in NI Assembly increase by 50%

The number of women now in the NI Assembly has increased to 30.  This is to be welcomed and we look forward to seeing even more women entering politics to be truly representative of the population in Northern Ireland.

Of the five largest parties, Alliance had the highest proportion of female MLAs in its ranks, 37.5%, closely followed by Sinn Fein on 36%. Women made up 25% of SDLP and UUP MLAs. Equal representation was lowest within the DUP with 21% of its Assembly team female.

Ms Roberts ( PhD student at the Ulster University and a member of the Belfast Feminist Network) said that her research proved that female candidates were clearly popular. "I don't think that people are voting just for women because they're women. They're voting for women because they're good candidates," she said.

We welcome and congratulate each and every candidate that was elected and we look forward to working with you to advance Women's Equality. 

Women Speak Out on Community Planning
Three Emerging Themes

Engagement is at the heart of community planning and it is vital that women from disadvantaged and rural areas get involved. From our research three common themes emerged as key factors to ensure engagement;

Gender Matters - Reaching Diverse Participants
Gender Analysis - How Does it Affect Women
Infrastructure - Design, Planning, Commitment and Feedback

In our report 'Women Speak Out on Community Planning' recommendations for each theme are made and can be applied to each council area. Please use this report to lobby your council's community planning team and ensure women in your area are listened too.

Copies of the report are available to download online and hard copies are available from our office.

Breast, Bowel and Cervical Cancer Screening Awareness
WRDA provides Breast, Cervical and Bowel
Screening Awareness
sessions to groups in NI.
If you are in contact with a
women’s/community group that would benefit
from this training contact or call

Women's Sector Lobbyist Undertaking Research

The purpose of the research is to understand the extent of budget decisions/cuts to women’s community and voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland.

The aim of the research is to assess:

(a) Where there has been a reduction in funding evidenced by informants, the reasons for this, what services have been reduced and what this means for organisations, women and communities.

(b)The extent to which cuts in funding have impacted on a range of women’s organisations, groups and service users.

(c) What actions have women’s organisations and groups taken to mitigate the effects of any changes to service provision.

Click here to complete the survey.

The results of the survey will be published as part of Ellen's Masters. While the survey is anonymous there is an option to provide your contact details if you wish to take part in a follow up more in-depth interview. If you have any questions please get in touch by emailing:

Women's Vision from Across the Barricades
WRDA Director Anne McVicker, Helen Crickard (WINI), Eileen Weir (Greater North Belfast Women's Nertwork) and two local women met with First Minister Arlene Foster to re-address the ongoing issues highlighted through photography in the Women's Vision from Across the Barricades project.

The book shown in the picture uses visual representation to show the issues that need addressed in the Tigers Bay and New Lodge areas of North Belfast.

It calls for future investment to be directed towards these deprived areas in order to prevent further increase of economic and sectarian divisions, which reduces the likelihood of securing long-term peace.

The project finished up in 2014 and although some progress has been made there is along way to go to meet the recommendations made.


Start By Doing Enterprise Initiative Workshop, 17th May 2016
Human Rights Consortium AGM, 18th May 2016
'Hierarchies of Wartime Sexual Violence', 18th May 2016
The Place of Northern Ireland within UK Human Rights Reform Seminar, 24th May 2016
CINI Child Poverty Conference, 24th May 2016

For more events, click here.


Micro Grants Programme. Deadline: 27th May
The Older People's Fund. Deadline: 27th May
Ulster People's College Fund. Deadline: 27th May
Women's Fund NI. Deadline: 20th May 2016
Cultural Diversity Grant. Deadline: 28th November 2016
Northern Ireland Development Fund. Deadline: 29th May 2016


And finally...

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, @WRDA_team. We'd love to connect with you there! You can also find us on Facebook or visit our website, which covers all the latest women's news.
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