The Women’s Policy Group Northern Ireland is a platform for women working in policy and advocacy roles in different organisations to share their work and speak with a collective voice on key issues. It is made up of women from trade unions, grassroots women’s organisations, women’s networks, feminist campaigning organisations, LGBT+ organisations, support service providers, human rights and equality organisations and individuals.
Over the years this important network has ensured there is good communication between politicians, policy makers and women’s organisations on the ground. It published the Women’s Manifesto in 2016 enabling women to highlight their priority issues to all political parties. This document has been very useful in opening up dialogue with parties and helping them to make better party policy when it comes to women’s rights and equality.
In 2017 the group wrote a comprehensive briefing paper on the negative impact of the two child tax credit cap and the rape exemption. This document was widely shared and helped inform the public debate on this harmful, regressive policy. Women’s Policy Group also works closely with the NI Women’s Budget Group, ensuring that the link between policy and budgetary decisions is well understood and providing a joined up gender analysis of both.
The group published a new Women’s Manifesto for the 2019 General Election which greatly expanded on the demands in the 2016 manifesto. In addition to this, the Women’s Policy Group submitted a joint response to the NIO’s Abortion Framework Consultation. Following the return to Stormont in January 2020 the WPG have sent a letter ot the Secretary of State for NI to request a meeting, you can read the letter here.