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On the 7th March, FWIN Staff and Board Members hosted a lobbying meeting with Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker. We were joined by all-female representatives from North West Community Network, Holywell Trust, Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership, Galliagh Women’s Group and Creevagh Women’s Group.

As we approach International Women’s Day, we amplified the voices of local women to tell Minister Baker how the current political landscape is affecting their day to day lives.

Research from Joseph Roundtree confirms that a person needs to earn £25,500 per year to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living. With the average household income in Derry-Londonderry being significantly lower than this, we lobbied for increased investment in the North-West as well as improved transport links.

Additionally, representatives offered insight into the Windsor Framework and the impact of this that they are seeing in their communities. Women reiterated the need to honour the role of women as peace-builders 25 years ago and today, as they remain on the ground.

The Cost-of-Living Crisis was a prominent issue of discussion. We emphasised the need for higher caps on energy companies, an end to benefit caps as women choose between heating their homes or eating, increased budgeting for NI if a devolved government does not return.

The Minister of State for NI expressed his wishes to continue to engage with Foyle Women’s Information Network and our Women’s Sector and Community/Voluntary Sector Colleagues.

FWIN will continue to amplify the voices of local women and ensure they are involved in these discussions going forward.