17 Nov 2022
Over 200 women from a wide range of grassroots organisations came together for an event aimed at amplifying their voice.
The “Nothing About Us Without Us” event focused on the culmination of three years of work aimed at highlighting the lack of a consistent, effective, and cohesive approaches by decision makers to engage grassroots women on issues that matter to them and affect them. It was also a space to encourage local women to connect with each other and have the opportunity to express their views and opinions on issues that matter to them or affect them
The event has been co-designed by a group of women activists from a range of backgrounds, who are connected to programmes operated by the Community Foundation NI, Social Change Initiative, and St Stephen’s Green Trust.
Speaking after the event Dawn Shackels, Director of Programmes at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland said:
“The purpose of the, “Nothing About Us Without Us”, event is to provide a space for women from grassroots organisations to come together and spotlight issues of importance to their work in achieving change.
“Women want to be listened to, to be heard, to be engaged on the issues that affect us and matter to us, whether that’s about what’s happening in our community, the cost-of-living crisis, the education of our children, decent jobs, a health service that works for everyone, peace and stability.
“Many feel that across society greater effort is required by decision makers to find new and better ways of reaching out and engaging women into important discussions.
“There is a role for everyone to progressively lead the way in creating an environment which ensures the range of diverse thoughts, views and opinions women hold are effectively heard at all levels.”
Speaking about the call for action on a Women’s Health Strategy, Dawn Shackels added:
“Health issue are, quite rightly, prominent in the current news agenda.
“One of the key elements for action emanating from this event is to call for Stormont to develop a ground-breaking Women’s Health Strategy, one that fully considers what needs to be in place for women, at various stages in their life, to achieve and maintain good health and wellbeing.
“Womens health strategies’ have advanced elsewhere with Scotland being the first, England following whilst the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales has requested the production of a Women’s Health Plan.
“We need to see one delivered for Northern Ireland. We need the women at this event and elsewhere making this call to be heard.”