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The rural needs act is not being used.

Northern Ireland’s rural women met at Stormont today to demand more support from the Executive to tackle social isolation and improve access to support services.

Louise Coyle, Director of Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network (NIRWN) said that Government funding for services for women in rural areas was desperately low and this needed to change.

She said: “Rural women make up a fifth of the Northern Ireland population, yet they receive just 1.3% of government funding distributed to women in this region.  NIRWN does receive some core funding from government and have always been grateful for that support but that investment is 13% of what it was in 2006.   We deserve better than this.”

NIRWN, which is celebrating its 15th birthday, has launched a new four-year Strategic Plan that looks at how the participation of women in rural areas can be improved and supported.

Attending the event were members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus, who took part in a Q&A event looking at the challenges for women in rural areas.

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