McLaughlin participates in global summit on women, peace and security

Sinéad McLaughlin gender equality

SDLP Foyle MLA Sinéad McLaughlin this week visited Washington D.C. to take part in a global summit of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network.

The group brings together women parliamentarians, academics and experts from countries around the world to discuss common challenges on gender equality.

As part of the summit organised by the US State Department, Ms McLaughlin participated in a series of high-level engagements on how gender equality can be used as a framework to advance peace around the world, including through sessions with senior figures in civic society and leading women parliamentarians from a diverse range of countries.

Ms McLaughlin said:

“As Chair of the All-Party Group on Women, Peace and Security, it was a privilege to be invited to Washington D.C. this week to meet with women from around the world who are leading on gender equality in post-conflict societies. Although the nature of the conflicts we face are very different, it is clear that challenges including the economic exclusion of women as well as their marginalisation in public life, are common to almost all the countries who participate in the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network.

“This network is demonstrating how international solidarity, collaboration and co-operation are fundamental to our efforts to create peaceful, just and reconciled societies, where women have equal participation in public life and a real voice in peace-building. I was pleased to have the opportunity this week to meet with dozens of women parliamentarians and experts from around the globe to share experiences on our common challenges, including in implementing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on gender equality.

“The delivery of this resolution within our context in Northern Ireland could make a huge difference in breaking down all the barriers that are still faced by too many women in our society. Unfortunately, while the south of Ireland and Great Britain both have National Action Plans to implement it, Northern Ireland is still caught in an unacceptable limbo.

“I am not prepared to allow women in Northern Ireland to be left behind forever and will be holding any restored Executive accountable to a high-level, public commitment to implement this resolution. We deserve a government that is working to dismantle gender inequality in all its forms, whether encouraging the greater participation of women in public and political life, tackling gender-based violence or advancing access to healthcare.”


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