We deserve every seat we have at every table, says McAllister, marking International Women’s Day 2023

Alliance North Belfast MLA Nuala McAllister has marked International Women’s Day 2023 (8 March) by paying tribute to her fellow party colleagues and celebrating the work they’ve done in making Northern Ireland a safer, more gender equitable place for women.

Nuala McAllister International Women's Day

The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 (IWD23) is ‘#EmbraceEquity’, which aims to prompt conversations about why equal opportunities aren't enough. About how people start from different places, so “true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.”

Nuala has said: “I feel incredibly proud to be part of a team that is full of strong, intelligent, trailblazing women from a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances, and today I want to pay tribute to them.

From a national perspective, with the work of our party leader Naomi Long MLA during her time as Justice Minister, bringing about more extensive and robust domestic violence legislation under the Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act and the Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Act, which saw added protections and new offences introduced which provided an important response to a wide range of violent and abusive behaviours.

But also on a local level, like the changes we saw instituted within Belfast City Council spearheaded by Councillor Michelle Kelly such as paid leave for pregnancy loss, the introduction of a menopause policy, and securing ‘Safe City’ accreditation for a commitment to tackling domestic abuse.

We see positive policy changes like these when the effort is made to give a platform to those voices which represent differing points of view; those under-represented or suppressed in the past. We will continue to work with relevant groups and sectors to see progress on key issues in achieving equity for women, such as ensuring accessible and affordable childcare for all.

Every day, women from all different corners of society are driving change. Nursing our sick, running our businesses, teaching our children, directing our governments, and are leaders in our communities. We deserve every hard fought-for seat we have at every table.

We must however continue to push on with a look towards the future. Celebrate those successes but also work collectively to build on them for the future generations to come, and leave them a better, more inclusive, and more gender equitable world.”