The Women’s Sector Lobbyist has been added to the Department for Communities Emergency Leadership Group and has now attended two meetings representing the women’s sector. In the first meeting held on Thursday 30thApril, updates were given on COVID-19 and the impact on women alongside plans to work on a feminist recovery plan. At the second meeting held on Thursday 14th May, the WSL provided updates on the need for digital inclusion and the impact this has on rural communities, those home-schooling, accessing universal credit, telemedicine, support for domestic violence and more. Further information was given the structures of the ELG and the need to ensure minority voices are included. The WSL also raised concerns that childcare was completely absent from the Executive’s COVID-19 road map to recovery and reiterated the need for an inter-departmental and gender-sensitive approach to the pandemic to be taken by the executive and all departments. Finally, the WSL was invited to a COVID-19 Response Session by the NI Executive and the Head of the NI Civil Service, where she provided input into an anonymised system on the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 on women. A report on this session by the organisers is to follow in the coming weeks.
The next ELG meeting is to be held on Thursday 28th May 2020 and if you have concerns form the Women’s Sector that you would like raised, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.