A fair and true democracy is a representative one. Women make up 51% of the population of Northern Ireland. Women should, therefore, make up 51% of elected representatives in our various political institutions, from local councils to MPs. Not only do women not make up half of our politicians, as they should, they are significantly underrepresented!
Currently, women are a long way from being fairly represented in the politics of Northern Ireland. At the local level, a mere 26% of Local Councillors and 18% of Mayors or Council chairs are women. This lack of representation continues throughout our other political institutions; women make up 33% of our Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and a frankly abysmal, 22% of Northern Irish Members of Parliament (MP).
At 50:50 NI we are working towards a Northern Ireland where women are equally represented at all political levels. We do this by raising awareness of the issue and advocating for political parties to adopt gender positive policies. Additionally, this year we will be introducing training programmes and events to encourage and support women who want to get into politics.