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At a Glance


  •  Women’s Group on Public Welfare (Northern Ireland) formed with the assistance of the Northern Ireland Council for Social Services (NICSS).


  • Change of name to Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland.
  • Co-ordination of events in Northern Ireland for International Women’s Year.
  •  Seminar, “Equality, Development, Education and Peace”, held in Queen’s Elms Hall of Residence, Queen’sUniversity,Belfast.
  • Peace Rally at BelfastCity Hall.
  • Chairman, Mrs Nan Douglass, was a Northern Ireland representative at Women’s Silver Jubilee Appeal Committee, which met each month in BuckinghamPalace under the chairmanship of Princess Anne.
  • Women’s Forum acquired its own office at 7 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast.  This was subsequently given up. 
  • Provided equipment and practical help for the first Hostel for Battered Wives in Belfast, which was set up by Belfast  Women’s Aid Society.


  • Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland, given representation on the Women’s National Commission (WNC)
  • Mrs Iris Colvin appointed as our first representative to the WNC.
  • Visit to European Parliament, Courts of Justice in Luxembourg, to the buildings and sessions in Parliament at Brussels and Strassbourg, organised by Mrs Rita Soye.
  • Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform (NIWEP) set up, with three representatives from Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland, on the Core Group.
  • Lisburn Standing Conference established.


  • Publication and distribution of a leaflet in support of the Agreement – from a woman’s perspective – “The Agreement – What’s in it for Women?”
  • A conference, “Women Shaping the Future”, was set up by Mrs Iris Colvin, at the request of Baroness Denton. This was supported by Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland.
  • Represented by Dr Barbara Erwin, Chairman, and Miss Rosemary Rainey, Vice-Chairman, at the Vital Voices  Conference: “Women in Democracy” in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
  • Dr Barbara Erwin appointed to the Parades Commission.
  • Representatives met with Fiona Reynolds, Head of Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office.
  • Women in the North (WIN) Working Group established and funding obtained from the “Yes” Campaign.
  • Constitution completely revised and adopted at A.G.M.
  • New position of Honorary Secretary introduced.
  • Mission Statement – “Women in Harmony – Achieving Change” – adopted.
  • Involvement in the work of setting up Belfast Well Woman Clinic.


  • Launch of WIN Document on steps of Parliament Buildings, Stormont on 8th March, which was International Women’s Day.
  • Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland, and Women Together for Peace hosted the “Women at the Millennium” Conference at StranmillisUniversityCollege
  • Women’s Forum facilitated preparation of the Northern Ireland Report.
  • WNC re-organised, resulting in loss on the Executive Committee of a representative from Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland.
  • Arrangement made re. use of office and facilities at the Women Together premises.
  • Seminar: WIN, which resulted in the new nomenclature “Northern Ireland Women’s Regional Assembly”.
  • New category of “Honorary Member” introduced at the A.G.M.


  • Officers of Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland, met with several MLAs at Stormont re. WIN.
  • Inaugural meeting of Women’s Regional Consultative Forum in Dungannon on Friday, 24th November.


  •  Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland established a new postal address:
     Women’s Forum, Northern Ireland
     P.O. Box 135
     BT5 5WA
  • The Officers attended a Conference of the Women’s National Commission held in the Chambers of the Lord Provost in Glasgow and had the opportunity to discuss Northern Ireland issues with the Chairman, Baroness Crawley.
  • Representatives attended a meeting with Susan Atkins of the Women’s Unit of the Government of the United Kingdom at the Equality Commission in Belfast.
  • Mrs. Ruth Graham and Miss Rosemary Rainey attended the meeting of the Women’s Regional Consultative Forum in Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Cookstown.
  • The Chairman, Mrs. Ruth Graham, met Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at a Garden Party held in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee Visit, at Hillsborough Castle.
  • Members of the Executive Committee attended a Reception, hosted by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, at Hillsborough Castle to pay tribute to Women in the Community.
  • 2004               
  • “Fair Employment in Northern Ireland – A generation On “     Attended by Maggy Hobson in the Equality Commission


  • Several representatives attended a seminar, “Gender in The New Europe”  in the Waterfront Hall.  This was organised by N.A.W.O and W.N.C                          
  • Miss Rosemary Rainey attended “The Review of Public Administration Conference in The Stormont Hotel                                      
  • Mrs Hazel Holmlund attended the Mayoral Reception for Women in the ColeraineBorough                                                                                        
  • Women’s Forum Northern Ireland 30th Anniversary Luncheon in The Edge, Laganbank Road, Belfast.  Guest Speaker, Baroness May Blood.                       
  • Mrs Iris Colvin attended The Celebration of the Life of the late Dr.Mo Mowlam at HillsboroughCastle.                                               
  • Mrs Anne King represented us on “The Gender Equality Unit Panel”  OFMDFM


  • Miss Rosemary Rainey and Mrs Maggy Hobson attended the W.N.C. seminar “Women’s Internship Programme” at the Equality Commission.
  • Miss Rosemary Rainey attended the seminar “Trafficking of Women” to celebrate International Women’s Day, at the Human Rights Commission.
  • Mrs Maggy Hobson attended the seminar “Pensions – Bridging the

            Gender Gap” at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

  • The Chairman made representation to the Minister, D.S.D. re: “The Report: The Review Group on Women’s Organisations Providing Support and Services to Disadvantaged Areas.”
  • Mrs Carol Bingham attended The British Red Cross Seminar in Parliament Buildings, Stormont.
  • Miss Rosemary Rainey addressed those attending the Retirement Event for Dr Barbara Erwin at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, hosted by the Speaker, Eileen Bell.
  • Mrs Maggy Hobson and Miss Rosemary Rainey attended Q.U.B. Law Department for “Review of The Role of the Equality Commission on the Effectiveness of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.


  • Women's Forum became a member of the Women's Ad Hoc Policy Group and is represented by Miss Rosemary Rainey.
  • Mrs Isobel Holmes agreed to be our representative to the Northern Ireland Rural Women's Network.
  • Guest Speaker at our AGM was the Permanent Secretary, Department of Education, Mr Will Haire.
  • New category of Individual Member replaced the former one and a new category of Associate Member introduced. (By end of year 12 new Associates had joined.)
  • Women's Forum gained membership of the Joint Consultative Forum - Education Sector organised by the Staff Commission for Education and Library Boards.
  • The Chairman, Miss Rosemary Rainey, was invited to speak at BPW Belfast Club luncheon in the Reform Club and at Bangor Soroptimists' Club.
  • Dr. Barbara Erwin, Mrs Iris Colvin, Mrs Maggie Hobson and Mrs Anne King attended the Four Nations Conference in Wales.  This was run by Women's Voice, Wales in conjunction with the WNC and NAWO.
  • Forum representatives took part in discussions on the Comprehensive Spending Review.
  • The Chairman, Miss Rosemary Rainey, attended the Soroptimist Conference in Enniskillen as the guest of Mrs Marie Donnell.
  • Participation in BBC television programme 'Let's Talk' by the Chairman, Miss Rosemary Rainey.  Other members were in the audience.
  • Meeting with representatives of the British Red Cross to clarify views and positions.
  • The Chairman spoke at MyGroup's annual celebration in the Odyssey, which was compered by Donna Trainor of the BBC.
  • First Social Evening in September held in Women's Institutes' Federation House, kindly loaned to us for the event.  Guest Speaker was Councillor Naomi Long MLA, Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party who spoke about 'Being a woman in a man's world'.
  • Chain of Office for Chairman presented in November through sponsorship from MyGroup NI and Robinson Jewellers, Bangor.  This silver pendant replicates the logo and mission statement of Women's Forum.  A fitting way to mark the approach of the 40th Anniversary.
  • Mrs Iris Colvin OBE was nominated for Volunteer of the Year in the Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Award and became runner-up in this category.  Mrs Maggie Hobson and Miss Rosemary Rainey joined her at the Awards Ceremony in the Europa Hotel which was hosted by Wendy Austin.
  • The Chairman, Miss Rosemary Rainey, attended 'Investing in Youth Work' Event at Queen's University, Belfast.


  • To mark the beginning of our 40th Anniversary year, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jim Rodgers, OBE, hosted a Reception for the members of Women's Forum in the new Civic Offices, Clarendon Dock in January.
  • Mrs Isobel Holmes, one of our Honorary Members, was amongst those selected to meet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and receive the Maundy Money in St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh in March.
  •  My Group celebration at the Baby Grand attended by Mrs Paddy Skates, Mrs Carol Bingham, Miss Rosemary Rainey and Mrs Maggie Hobson.

  • Many members of the Forum attended the AGM of UNIFEM on 29th April.
  • Mrs Paddy Skates and Mrs Carol Bingham were guests at the Federation of Women's Institutes of NI Good Relations Seminar at the Beechlawns Hotel.
  • Betty Martin and Paddy Skates attended the launch of Presbyterian Women at Assembly Buildings on 1st May.
  • The Joint Consultative Forum on Education was attended by Paddy Skates and Rosemary Rainey.
  • Chairman Paddy Skates attended the BPW lunch and the QWG Dinner in June.
  • On the 19th of June Gingerbread organised a conference, Turning Possibilities into Realities, where employers spoke of schemes to help single parents into employment. This was attended by Paddy Skates.
  • The Institute of Governance at Queens organised two events in June, Bill of Rights and Women, what comes next? and Violence Against Women Roundtable hosted by Kristina Miccio from New York. Paddy Skates attended both, joined by Rosemary Rainey for the Roundtable discussion.
  • The Peace by Piece Conference was one of the largest events for the women's sector in many years. Opened by Joanna Lumley,  there were many excellent speakers both from home and abroad. Mrs Paddy Skates attended on all three days joined by Mrs Hazel Holmlund and Mrs Mahvash Graham for part of the conference.  All agreed that it was an excellent conference and a chance to meet a wide variety of women from around the world.
  • Friday 3rd October was a very special day as the 40th Anniversary Dinner of Women's Forum NI was held in the Lord Mayor's Parlour. Our thanks to the Lord Mayor, Councillor Tom Hartley who hosted the evening and proposed the toast to the Forum and also to the former Lord Mayor Councillor Jim Rogers who said grace before dinner. Our special guest speaker was Christine Lady Eames and, as well as enjoying dinner, members and friends shared the special anniversary cake supplied by Mrs Iris Colvin and cut by Mrs Isobel Holmes our first Honorary Member and past Chairman. Everyone enjoyed the evening and we look forward to the next 40 years.
  • During October The Chairman attended ;
  • A Consumer Council evening to discuss the rising cost of living.
  • The launch of a DVD and paper entitled Women and the Conflict.
  • A meeting with WNC commissioner Bronagh Hinds.
  • An information evening on Delivering the Bamford Vision, a reply was sent by WFNI to this consultation document.
  • On 12th Nov the Chairman, June Meenagh-Smartt and Rosemary Rainey attended the Equality Commission Conference "Every Child an Equal Child". This excellent conference was discussed at the full Forum meeting at the end of Nov.
  •  The Chair Paddy Skates attended the NIWEP conference Engaging With Europe on Gender Equality

  • The Chairman attended the Gender Advisory Panel at Castle Buildings on 13th Jan.
  • On 28th Jan the WRDA organised a meeting with members of the Equality Commission which was attended by the Chairman.
  • The Joint Consultative Forum, Education Sector met on 12th Feb. The Chair Paddy Skates and Rosemary Rainey attended.
  • 10th March members attended the Spring Meeting of the Queen's Women Graduates to hear Prof George Bain speak on "The Bain Report 2 years on "
  • WRCP held a meeting in the Equality Commission to launch a report Working in the Community: the contribution of Women's Centres to their local communities". Jane Morris spoke about women and public appointments. Paddy Skates and Rosemary Rainey attended.
  • 2nd April Paddy Skates attended the introductory meeting of Liberation set up by the NUS and USI to help students tackle and address diversity issues.
  • 7th April a sub group met with a representative from the office of the commissioner for public appointments to discuss the consultation document on women in public appointments, a reply to this document was sent on behalf of WFNI.
  • 20th April Hazel Holmlund and Paddy Skates attended the conference of the NIHRC. The speakers on the topic of asylum seekers were excellent with a good balance provided by the speaker from the UK Borders agency,an immigration Judge, researchers into the detention of asylum seekers and the director of Migrants Rights Network but the star speaker was undoubtedly Shami Chakrabarti the Director of Liberty.
  • The annual meeting of Presbyterian Women was held on 7th May attended by Carol Bingham, Kathleen Rodgers Maureen Weir and Paddy Skates.
  • The AGM, Lecture and Dinner of ATL was held at Malone House and attended by Rosemary Rainey Linda Dawson Paddy Skates and Marie Donnell in her capacity as Chair of SELB.
  • The Joint Consultative Forum on Education held a special meeting to consider the Equality Impact Assessment of Transfer 2010 guidelines. There was found to be some vague wording which could make things difficult for both parents and school governors as they navigate their way through the new recommendations. Let us hope the needs of the individual children come before statistics or political points scoring. 
  • QWG Annual Dinner guest speaker Prof Catherine Clinton.
  • Unifem AGM speaker Dr Nazir Latif.
  • BPW International Lunch guest speaker Dr Comfort Momoh.( For more information on these events see news page.)
  • Barbara Savage attended the Belfast City Council disability awareness day focusing on deafness.
  • The NI Rural Women's Network event, Farmers for Fairness in Europe, was attended by Isobel Holmes.
  • June Meenagh-Smartt attended a conference on health provision in the Wellington Park Hotel.
  • Paddy Skates attended the first meeting of Gender Agenda to discuss Childcare Strategies for NI.
  • Paddy Skates and Janette Thornton attended the Gender Advisory Panel in the Long Gallery Stormont on 11thSept.
  • 23rd Sept. four members of the Gender Advisory Panel went before the committee of OFMDFM to give the Panel's views on the progress report on Implementing the Gender Equality Strategy.  This meeting will be reported in Hansard.
  • 29th Sept. Paddy Skates represented the Forum at a meeting to finalise the women's sector questions for the omnibus survey to be carried out on a cross section of the population.
  • 10th Nov Rosemary, Maggy,Anne, Paddy, Hazel and her daughter Kathleen met with My Group and agreed to put a link to "Access to Benefits" on the website, we also learned that the site was getting an encouraging number of hits from many parts of the world.
  • Friday 13th Nov Paddy Skates was invited to the 10th Anniversary of the Equality Commission and was delighted to meet and talk with The Princess Royal.
  • 3rd Dec several members attended the NIWEP conference and launch of the Gender Monitoring Checklist on Women Peace and Security. Afterwards a reception was held in the City Hall to celebrate 20 years of NIWEP.
  • 5th Dec Hazel attended the Federation of Townswomen's Guilds Carol Service.
  • 11th Dec Paddy attended the Gender Advisory Panel meeting.
  • Gender Advisory Panel Reference Group on the interim review of funding of the Women's Sector.Paddy agreed to join this group and at the first meeting (which she was unable to attend) she was one of four suggested to co-chair the future meetings. The four, Paddy Skates, Bronagh Hinds Eileen Bell and Liz Law met on 27th Jan and 3rd Feb for prolonged discussions.  All agreed that a united front was needed across the Sector and that any of the 4 would be well qualified to chair. At the second meeting the role of the chair was discussed and then written up in a document by Bronagh. Paddy and Liz were suggested as co-chairs.
  • A seminar on offshore renewable energy was attended by Hazel and Paddy 
  • 21st Jan, the Forum was well represented at the WNC Conference in the Holiday Inn.  The upcoming session of the Committee on the Status of Women at the UN in New York was high on the agenda.
  • The Gender Advisory Reference Group met on Monday 15th Feb.and Paddy and Liz Law were confirmed as co- chairs.   They will meet with the Steering Group on 8th March and report to the next GARG meeting on 26th March.  It is hoped to hold a number of events to gather information and ideas from the Sector, perhaps taking the "World Cafe" approach.
  • The National Trustees of Townswomen's Guilds held a lunch in the City Hall, Belfast on the 3rd March.  Over 200 women from all over the British Isles were welcomed by Cllr Naomi Long MLA, the Lord Mayor of Belfast. Among the visitors from across the water were Sue Smith the National Federation Chairman and Pauline Myers, a member of the National Executive.  Paddy Skates represented WFNI and Ethel Patterson represented the Federation of Women's Institutes.The guest speaker was Dame Mary Peters.  Photographs of the event are on the News page.
  • !0th March Rosemary Rainey and June Meenagh-Smartt attended the launch of a report on School Based Experiences of Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The report was commissioned by the Education Boards and The Staff Commission for Education and Library Boards.
  • The Speaker held a St Patrick's Day Celebration at Parliament Buildings attended by Paddy Skates and Carol Bingham for WFNI. Other members of the Forum also attended in different capacities.  Pictures on News page.
  • 26th March GARG meeting with the consultants to discuss the process for the interim review of funding of women's groups. 22 groups to be interviewed, these groups identified by GARG members. 5 stakeholder meetings to be held at locations around the Province. This was further discussed at the next GARG meeting on 20th May.
  • On the 21st April the Chair spoke to the BPW luncheon club.
  • In June the Chair attended the BPW annual lunch, the Queen's Women Graduates dinner , a lecture on women and the law in Malaysia held at Queen's, the Belfast stakeholder meeting for the review of funding for women's groups, and the AGMs of NIWEP and TWN. Reports on all these events are on the news page.
  • The second annual meeting of Gender Agenda was held at Stormont on 17th June, the topic was older women and poverty .
  • The Chair attendeed a Gender Equality Planning Workshop on 30th June. Reps. from gov. depts met with GAP members to discuss the successes and challenges of the equality action plan 2008-2011 and main things for inclusion in equality action plan for 2012-2015.
  • The Chair was invited to attend the NI 1325 group on participation on 7th July. The group heard input from local councillors on their experience standing for local government.
  • The Chair and her husband attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
  • 19th Aug a meeting of GARG chaired by Paddy Skates had a presentation by the Geographic Information Consultancy Team who explained the mapping process for information collected by the consultants reviewing the funding of women's groups.
  • On 21st Sept. the Chair attended a public consultation evening on the programme for Cohesion, Integration and Sharing.
  • 5th Oct the education sub-committee met to reply to the document on the future of teacher education in NI.
  • Wed. 6th Oct. Paddy Skates, Mahvash Graham and Hazel Holmlund attended a CEDAW pre consultation event organised by NIWEP.
  • 8th Oct there was a meeting of GAP members and equality practitioners from Gov. depts to carry forward the discussions from the meeting on 30th June and help formulate plans for the 2012-2015 equality action plan. The Chair and also Irene Miskimmom attended.
  • The Women's Centres Childcare Mapping Report was launched in the Long Gallery Stormont. Julie Clarke of Windsor women's centre and Jacqueline Williamson women's centre Derry gave moving accounts of how the centres and the childcare facilities they provide had changed their lives. The Chair and Rosemary Rainey attended .
  • 18th Oct Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education which focused on the impact of the cuts in the education budget.
  • The Chair attended a CEDAW Discussion Seminar/Implementing CEDAW in the Long Gallery Stormont.
  • 13th Dec the last WNC partners meeting was held. Hazel Holmlund and Paddy Skates attended.
  • 24th Feb AGM the guest speaker was Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir US Consul General. She told members of  her career path and her role representing the US in N Ireland.
  • Yvonne Beaton became the new Chairman of WFNI. 
  • 21st March Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended "A Call to Action" following the launch of the report into Educational Disadvantage and the Protestant Working Class issued by Dawn Purvis and the Working Group. 
  • Hazel Holmlund and Paddy Skates attended a meeting organised by NIWEP to discuss the GEO proposals following the closure of WNC.
  • 13th May Paddy Skates attended the Gender Advisory Panel meeting.
  • 13th May a number of  members attended a meeting with representatives of the GEO to hear their strategy for Strengthening Women's Voices in Government.
  • 29th June Paddy Skates attended the Gender Equality Initiative Annual Lecture at Queen's.
  • The Chairman Yvonne Beaton attended a lecture by Mary Robinson in the Whitla Hall.
  • A number of members attended the launch of the report The NI Economy Women on the Edge.
  • 7th Sept Paddy Skates attended a meeting hosted by Joan Smith where Avila Kilmurray spoke to women from business and the community sector about the possibility of setting up a Women's Fund. Avila later addressed WFNI on the same topic.
  • 3rd Oct Yvonne Beaton attended a celebration of UN International Day for Older People at Cultra Manor at the Folk Museum.
  • Paddy Skates attended the First Mondays lecture at Queen's.
  • 20th Oct Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the Staff Commission Joint Consultative Forum on Education.


  • March 5th Paddy Skates attended a conference at Riddel Hall , Breaking the Glass Ceiling.
  • 9thMarch several members attended a Women into Politics conference in the Great Hall at QUB.
  • A Friendship Lunch was held at Newforge Country Club for members and friends of WFNI on the tenth of March. Further information on these events can be found in the News section.
  • Paddy Skates attended meetings on 16th March and 26th April to discuss the report on the funding of Women's Organisations.
  • Mrs Pat Irvine attended an Engagement Event held at Stormont on 16 April.  This meeting was held in advance of the UK Second Periodical Review by United Nations Human Rights Council (May 2012)
  • Paddy Skates attended a meeting of the Gender Advisory Panel on 23rd May.
  • May 24th saw the launch of The Women's Fund for NI. Joan Smith chairs the steering group for this fund and Yvonne Beaton (Chair Women's Forum), Hazel Holmlund and Paddy Skates are members of the steering group.
  • 23rd Oct. Paddy Skates attended the Gender Advisory Panel
  • Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education.
  • Yvonne Beaton attended the United Nations Day talk "A Taste of India" at the Agape Centre.
  • The Soroptomist International Great Britain and Ireland held their 78th Conference in the Waterfront Belfast. WFNI was represented by Chairman Yvonne Beaton and several other members also attended.


  • 21st Feb Paddy Skates attended a meeting of the Gender Advisory Panel.
  • Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education on the 27th Feb..
  • On 25th March Yvonne Beaton, Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended a stakeholder engagement event at the UU on Gender Equality at Executive Level in the NI Puplic Sector.
  • 19th April, 45th Anniversary Dinner and launch of book Women's Forum NI 1963-2013. See news for more and gallery for pictures.
  • The Chairman Yvonne Beaton attended the launch of the Belfast Trust's Good Relations Strategy at the Belfast City Hospital on the 22nd May.
  • 1st June BPW NI International Lunch was attended by the Chair and several members of the Forum.
  • Paddy Skates attended the Joint consultative forum on education on 12th June.
  • 21st June Yvonne attended the Queen's Women Graduates Dinner in the Great Hall.
  • 11th Sept Belfast City Hall, several members and the Chair attended a Celebration Event of the Women's Fund for NI, "Women and the Media".
  • 23rd Sept. Yvonne Beaton and Pat Irvine attended the installation Dinner for the Lord Mayor of Belfast.
  • The GAP meeting at Weavers Court on 1st Oct was attended by Paddy Skates.
  • 8th Oct the Chair attended a talk by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, chairman of UNA NI Board of Directors "Northern Ireland and the Wider International World".
  • Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education on Oct23rd.
  • The Chair attended a NIWEP discussion event on 8th Nov.
  • Yvonne attended the WRDA consultation event on the future of the Consumer Council for NI.
  • Yvonne Beaton attended a GAP gender equality workshop at the Dunsilley Hotel Antrim on 28th Nov.
  •  At the AGM in Feb. Pat Irvine was elected as Chairman of WFNI see news section for more.
  • On 26th Feb Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education.
  • Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP hosted a coffee reception on the 7th March in the Throne Room, Hillsborough Castle for Women’s Forum Northern Ireland to mark Internation Women's Day. More in news section and pictures in gallery.
  • 8th March Paddy attended the Peoples Litter Summit in W5.
  • During April Mahvash attended the Active Ageing Strategy Consultation Meeting in Craigavon and Pat and Yvonne attended the Belfast meeting. The Forum later replied to this document.
  • Presbyterian Women held their Annual Meeting on 8th May in Assembly Buildings Pat Irvine and Daphne Rainey attended.
  • Pat Irvine and Yvonne Beaton attended the GAP meeting on 8th May.
  • The Big Lottery future strategy meeting Your Voice Your Vision at Belfast Castle on 16th May was attended by Pat and Yvonne.
  • The BPW International Luncheon was held in the Newforge Country Club on 31st May.
  • Chair Pat Irvine joined members of Queen's Women Graduates at their 90th Anniversary Dinner on the 12th June.
  • 17th June Paddy and Rosemary attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education.
  • 30th July Chair Pat Irvine attended the launch of Women and Peace Building.
  • 7th Oct Mavash Graham and Pat Irvine participated in an IPSOS Mori surveyon Women in Public Life.
  • On 10th Oct Chair Pat Irvine attended the NIAMH Conference in Riddell Hall.
  • In Oct Carolyn Forster attended her first NIWEP meeting as Women's Forum representative.
  • 2oth Oct Pat Irvine, Yvonne Beaton and Alice Chapman attended UNA-NI meeting with speaker Natalie Samarasinghe, UNA-UK Executive Director.
  • 23rd Oct Paddy Skates and Irene Miskimmon attend the Women in Politics and the NI assembly event in the Long Gallery Stormont.
  • Yvonne Beaton and Carolyn Forster were to attend the Gender Advisory Panel on 30th Oct but the meeting was cancelled.
  • 30th Oct Duchess of Abercorn Pushkin Trust event at Titanic Centre, Rosemary Rainey attended.
  • End of November Pat Irvine, Carol Bingham and Paddy Skates attended the turning on of the Assembly Christmas lights at Stormont.
  • !st Dec Rosemary Rainey and Paddy Skates attended the 10th Anniversary of the Joint Consultative Forum Education Sector.
  • 11th Dec Pat Irvine was a guest at the Belfast Education Board's Christmas Lunch.
  • 12th January Hazel Holmlund and Joan Smyth attended UNWomen's National AGM.
  • 19TH February 15 – Chair attended ‘Delivering Social Change’ Stakeholders update meeting PRONI.

  •  6th March 15 – Chair attended ‘ Women’s International Day Event’ at Parliament Buildings Stormont.

  • 21st March 15 – Chair and several other members attended Queens Womens Graduates Event  showing of DVD ‘Peace Unveiled Afghanistan’.

  •  22nd March 15 – Chair attended Mother’s Union Festival service St Annes Cathedral.

  • 26th March 15 -  Chair attended ‘Federation of Women’s Institute NI Luncheon and AGM

    11th March Paddy Skates and Rosemary Rainey attended the Joint Consultative Forum on Education.

    26th May Chair Pat Irvine and Paddy Skates attended an event in Belfast City Hall to discuss future plans for the City.

    20th May WF members attended BPW annual luncheon.

    2nd June Paddy Skates attended the Assembly Community Connect annual networking event titled Staying Motivated in Challenging Times held in the Long Gallery at Stormont.

    3rd June Paddy Skates attended the Gender Advisory Panel at Stormont the session took the form of a question and answer panel with the two Junior Ministers in OFMDFM.

    29th June Pat Irvine, Paddy Skates Carolyn Forster and Irene Miskimmon took part in a Women Peace and Security Event in the Long Gallery at Stormont where the NIWEP report was discussed.

    13th Aug. Paddy Skates attended a meeting at Stormont to discuss Delivering Social Change, Social Policy Development.

    28th Sept. Chair attended the launch and showing of the film “Voices if New Belfast “ a documentary about individuals from other countries who have come to live in Belfast.

    1st Oct Paddy Skates attended the Gender Advisory Panel where the proposed new Gender Equality Strategy was discussed, there will be several workshops on this topic in the coming months.

  • In November several members attended the Women's Fund charity night at Molton Brown.

  • 17th Nov Chair attended C.A.D.A. Global Question Time at Stormont.

  • 12th Feb. Pat IrvineN I Consumer Council stakeholders event on consumer protection re. energy tarifs.
  • 18th Feb Paddy Skates attended a GAP workshop in Cookstown to discuss a Gender Equality Strategy for NI
  • 24th Feb Rosemary Rainey attended a Programme for Government Consultation in Parliament Buildings.
  • Wed 2nd March Rosemary Raimey and Paddy Skates attended the Education Authority Joint Consultative Forum.
  • 10th March Chair Pat Irvine attended International Women's Week event" An Inclusive Commonwealth" at Stormont.
  • 15th March Paddy Skates and Jacqui McLoughlin attended the BPW event" Modern Slavery in NI -really?"
  • 16th March Paddy Skates attended a post consultation information event and round table discussion on the Childcare Strategy 2016-2026.
  • 31st March Chair atttended the Federation of Women's Institutes NI Annual Luncheon.
  • Friendship Lunch and presentation of Iris Colvin awards at Newforge Country Club on 9th April, see news and gallery for details.
  • The Soroptomists 50th Anniversary in NI Day Conference and Lunch was attended by the Chair.
  • 18th April Paddy Skates attended the Education Authority headquarters to discuss the future of the Joint Consultative Forum (Education).
  • 21st April Pat Irvine and Paddy Skates attended the new Dept of Communities information event at Crumlin Road Goal.
  • In May the Chair attended Presbyterian Women’s Annual Meeting.
  • Members joined QWG members and other friends at a luncheon for the Women’s Fund NI at the home of Paddy Skates when over £800 was raised.
  • Chair attended Europe Day in the Titanic Building.
  • Chair attended Townswomen’s Guild information day event.
  • Members attended the BPW annual luncheon.
  • Chair and other members attended the QWG annual Dinner in June.
  • Hazel Holmlund attended the AGM of the Road Safety Committee which is now a voluntary organisation but continues to work with schools.
  • In August members attended the home of our member Barbara Erwin who has started a business selling foliage and cut flowers grown in the grounds of her home ( see website for more)
  • October Paddy Skates attended the Joint Consultative Forum ( Education)
25th October Chair Pat Irvine and several members attended an event in the Senate Room at Stormont celebrating 70 years of the UN, a copy of the UN Charter was presented to the Speaker of the NI Assembly by pupils of Wallace High School and a presentation given by pupils of Our Lady and St Patricks College.

  • 16th Jan Paddy Skates attended the Belfast City Council's Equality Action Plan focus group in the City Hall.
  • 18th Feb several members attended a talk by Dr Edie Shillue entitled "One Girl's Life" focusing on the plight of refugees especially girls worldwide. This event was organised by Queen's Women Graduates.
  • Pat Irvine and Paddy Skates represented the Forum at the Children and Young People's Strategy consultation event on 22nd Feb in the Park Ave. Hotel.
  • Members attended consultation events for the Southern, Northern and Belfast Health Trusts.
  • The QWG Dinner planned for 7th of June was cancelled because of the sudded death of QUB Vice Chancellor Prof Paddy Johnston.
  • 9th Oct Pat Irvine and Paddy Skates attended a CEDAW round table discussion with representatives of the voluntary sector.
  • The Lord Mayor's Parlour on 24th Oct. was the setting for a reception to celebrate 72 years of the United Nations, see news section for more.
  • Paddy Skates and Rosemary Rainey attended the Joint Consultatine Forum on Education on 8th Nov.
Members attended fundraising events in Crabtree and Evelyn for BPW and the Women's Fund for NI during Nov.


The Chair Jacqui McLaughlin sometimes accompanied by members of the Executive Committee attended the following events ___

Meetings/Events attended 2018


International Women’s Day - Cultra Successful Women  - leading into the future

Soroptomists event ‘Meet your local Councillor’ panel.

Mother’s Union Festival at St Anne’s Cathedral.

WI AGM where the speakers were two of the original ‘Calendar Girls’.

Townswomen’s Guild 50th Anniversary Dinner



Women’s Forum Anniversary event, City Hall.



Presbyterian Woman’s AGM 10 May 2018 – guest speaker was Kate Patterson.

Policy Group meeting in Dungannon.



100 Event in Stormont and this was a culmination of the events throughout the year. 

Day Conference run by Politics Plus



Women’s Ambassador Forum at Stormont as the Women’s Forum representative.           

UNA event in Armagh Palace



Mothers’ Union Vigil for 16 Days of Activism  against gender-based violence at City Hall



International Human Rights Commission – Launch of 2018 Annual Statement

European Union Commission Christmas Reception at the Titanic Hotel


The Chair and/or members of the Executive Committee attended____


Meetings/Events attended 2019

January 2019

Holocaust Memorial Day Event in Belfast City Hall



Childcare for All Conference in Riddel hall

Women’s Policy Group meeting

WI AGM in Europa Hotel

Soroptomist’s International Women’s Day Event on PeriNatal Mental Health in City Hall


Human Rights Commission – Annual lecture by Kate Gilmore (UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights) in Bar Library

Mother’s Union Festival at St Anne’s Cathedral.

Human Rights Commission - Launch of Declaration on Sport and Human Rights in Malone House


Women’s Policy Group meeting

NIWEP Training day on CEDAW in Derry/Londonderry

UNA World Press Freedom Day in Linen Hall library

Presbyterian Women AGM in Assembly Buildings – Helen Warnock

Human Rights Commission – Supporting Equal protection for Children in NI



Road Safety NI AGM in Ballymena Fire Station

Childcare for all Meeting

Meeting of EA Joint Consultative Forum



Mother’s Union Scamwise Workshop in Dunsilly Hotel

Installation of Joan Strong as All Ireland president of MWI – unable to attend



  WRDA AGM in NICVA Offices

  Women’s Policy Group meeting

  EA Joint Consultative Forum meeting was cancelled



Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission – Launch of 2019 Annual Statement in Stormont


The following meetings were attended by the Chair and/or members of the Executive Committee

January 2020

  Women’s Policy Group meeting

  NIWEP Conference – Realising our Rights







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