International Women’s Day Hillsborough Castle 7 March 2014
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP hosted a coffee reception in the Throne Room, Hillsborough Castle for Women’s Forum Northern Ireland to mark Internation Women's Day.
She was introduced to all Organisational Representatives, Individual and Associate Members in attendance by the organising team for the event, Rosemary Rainey OBE, outgoing Chairman Yvonne Beaton, incoming Chairman, Patricia Irvine, and Paddy Skates, as pictured from left to right.
In her address, the Secretary of State paid tribute to the Forum for all it had achieved and undertaken especially its pioneering work in its early years when women’s voices were rarely heard. The theme this year for International Women’s Day is Inspiring Change and commented that “it was good to know that Women’s Forum Northern Ireland was ahead of the game by having the motto “Women in Harmony Achieving Change”
The Secretary of State in her address made reference to the fact that Women’s role in public life has changed dramatically from the first International Women’s Day in 1911. However, there were still today, only 18 women out of 108 MLAs when the last Northern Ireland Assembly was elected. She recognised there has been progress of a sort, but there is still much work to be done.
The outgoing Chairman, Yvonne Beaton responded on behalf of the Forum for the privilege and honour to have received the invitation and for her very warm welcome to all who were in attendance. She then presented the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with a signed copy of our 45th Anniversary History Booklet to mark the day’s special occasion before handing over to the incoming Chairman Patricia Irvine who said a few words in conclusion.
More pictures of this event can be found in our Gallery section