The Women's Research and Development Agency has just circulated its Gender Focus to MLAs. It was sent out by Lynn Carvill, the Women's Sector Lobbyist, and an e-mail with the document included the following.
I wonder if Lynn's concern about the lack of women representatives in political life is in any way connected with the fact that she stood as a candidate for the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition in the Forum election in May 1996 in South Down. Not surprisingly she did not get elected. [Down Recorder 15 May 1996]I have attached for your reference the fourth issue of ‘Gender Focus’. The fourth edition addresses solely the ‘Ending Dual Mandates Local Government (Disqualification) (Amendment) Bill’ which is due to have a second reading in plenary on Monday 8th March 2010. This Bill will amend the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 to disqualify Northern Ireland MLAs from also holding the position of local Councillor. This is a good opportunity to suggest that ending dual mandates could be used to address the concern of the lack of women representatives in political life in Northern Ireland.