All the latest news from WRDA!
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Grassroots Lobbying Programme
A starting point for women to identify local needs and issues.

The training aims to raise awareness of local and national policies and the potential impact they may have on women. It also explores how women and communities can build their capacity to influence and engage with decision-makers.
The programme is fully funded and consists of 3x 2 hour sessions which includes:
 - How Democracy works
 - The Lobbying process
 - Working together for change
If your centre/organisation would like to have a Lobbying programme delivered or you would like more information regarding the programme, please contact: Isobel Loughran @ 90230212 or

WRDA Attends NUS-USI Manifesto Launch

On Friday the 5th February, WRDA Communications and Membership worker Katie, attended the launch of the student manifesto for the 2016 Northern Ireland assembly elections. The key theme of the day was ‘Owning Our Future’ which was illustrated with a statement balloon display at the Belfast Metropolitan College Titanic Quarter Conference Hall.

The launch was informal with a panel discussion from a range of student speakers who shared their experiences within the higher education system in Northern Ireland. Discussions were based around budget allocations, proper investment in higher education, and accessibility to education, increasingly high transport costs, on campus childcare, apprenticeships for women and more.

The manifesto focuses on education, work and society, as well as students’ unions, and makes a range of proposals aimed at delivering equality and making Northern Ireland a more prosperous place to live, work and learn. Read more.

To read the manifesto click here.

 Women Speak Out on Community Planning Survey

Please take a moment to complete this survey on Community Planning for WRDA.
All over the world there is an increasing need for more local involvement in the planning and management of local areas. Community planning is now seen as the best way of ensuring that communities become safer, stronger and more sustainable.   But how should it be done? How can local women – wherever they live – best involve themselves in design?

For us it is imperative that women get engaged to help define the consultative and engagement process and ensure that their voices are respectfully heard and reflected in the outcomes of each Council.  Responses to this survey will be collated in a report and sent to all Councils.

Women's Sector Lobbyist Update

Women's Sector Lobbyist Ellen Finlay works to ensure that women’s issues and views are effectively positioned and communicated to politicians and policy makers.

Ellen has had another busy month meeting with Roy Beggs UUP, Stewart Dickson Alliance and Martin Tyrell, from OFMDFM on the Childcare Strategy. 

She attended the All Party Group on Children & Young People at Stormont.  The presentation was by VOYPIC on this year's and first ever Care Day.  The first ever Care Day NI #caredayni is to take place Friday 19th February. For more information about #caredayni click here.

Full details of Ellen's latest work can be found here.

WRDA Research Update


Research: Why Women Only?  

Diane Izabiliza is a student of Social Work from Berlin, Germany and is interning here until March 2016.  She is under the supervision of Ellen and working on a research paper for WRDA which explores a question that many women’s organisations are being asked, not just by decision-makers but by funders “why are you women-only?”  The research will not only address this question but it will also highlight the benefits and value of women only services.  Diane has completed 11 interviews, she will be writing up the findings during mid February / March time.  
News Update
By Women's Sector Lobbyist @WSLobbyistNI
Stormont News
  • Ulster Unionists consider joining next Executive. Further details here.
  • Proposal to rename OFMDFM is rejected by the Assembly.
  • Opposition Bill has been heavily watered down.
  • DUP requests working group on Abortion. Details here
Westminster News
  • NI Affairs committee to examine potential EU exit impact.
  • The Welfare Reform and Work Bill had its third reading on Tuesday 9 February. Read the full proceedings here.
European News
  • Migrant rape fears spread across Europe: Women told not to go out at night alone after assaults carried out in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland amid warnings gangs are co-ordinating attacks.  Full story here.
  • Research:  Reception of female refugees and asylum seekers in Germany.  The research presents both the EU and the German legal framework concerning the reception of (female) refugees. Attention has been paid whether gender-sensitive asylum application procedures and reception conditions are provided in practice in Germany.
WRDA to Host #trustwomen Workshop- February 18th 2016
This week the Alliance for Choice campaign, #trustwomen, has taken off across Northern Ireland. The aim of the #trustwomen campaign is to keep abortion firmly on the political agenda in the run up to the Stormont elections in May 2016.

This week it was announced that the NI Assembly would hold a debate and vote on amendments to the Justice Bill 61-68 to allow for abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, rape and incest. The vote took place on Wednesday 10th February. To watch the debate click here.

WRDA firmly agrees that women should be trusted to know what is best for themselves and their families.

We are therefore delighted to have Alliance for Choice deliver a workshop on their campaign at WRDA offices, Thursday 18th February. For more information click here.


Seminar: 'Northern Ireland Politics: Can we really make a fresh start?' - 15th February 2016
Health Protection Inequalities Seminar (IPH) - 18th February 2016
VOYPIC Care Day - 19th February 2016
'Voices for Change' Conference (WINI) 25th February 2016
Official Launch of The Women's Manifesto, Belfast - 9th March 2016
Official Launch of The Women's Manifesto, Derry/Londonderry - 9th March 2016
WRDA Members Event: Domestic Abuse Offence and Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - 23rd March 2016

For more events, click here.


St Stephen Greens Trust. Deadline: Ongoing 
Big Lottery Funding: People and Communities. Deadline: Ongoing
Sport Relief Community Cash. Deadline: 17th February 2016
Level 2 and Level 3: Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership. Deadline: 14th April 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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