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The Consortium’s first conference and annual report launch was held on the 14th of March in Parliament Buildings at Stormont.

Patricia Lewsley-Mooney CBE, Chair of our lead partner, TWN opened the conference and delegates had the chance to learn more about how the Assembly operates from the Stormont Engage Now team. This informative presentation looked at the role of MLAs, how departments are assigned and the powers devolved to Stormont. Jessica Jacques, the Assembly EU Affairs Officer, delivered a presentation on Brexit. This gave delegates the opportunity to find out more about the Withdrawal Agreement, the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol and Article 16.

Anne McVicker, Director of Consortium partner WRDA introduced the annual report and called for a specific funding stream for the women’s sector. The annual report explores the Consortium’s six key themes in depth and can be accessed here

Gráinne McKeever, the Chair of the Independent Review of Discretionary Support spoke powerfully about the welfare system saying ‘poverty has a woman’s face’. We then heard from Consortium partner, WSN policy worker, Siobhán Harding who discussed the upcoming Consortium research on poverty.

Delegates had the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of MLAs. The questions asked will be developed by the Consortium into a resource accessible to all women in Northern Ireland. Women will be able to use this resource during the upcoming Assembly Election campaign to challenge candidates in their area and ensure they are voting for people who will deliver for women.

The Consortium Assembly Election Resource and a recording of the Women Delivering Change conference will be available soon. Please follow us on social media (@WRC_NI and @WomensRegionalConsortium) for updates.