SDLP Leader and South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has encouraged women to get involved in political and community life.
Speaking on the 100th International Women’s Day, Ms Ritchie, who is the first female leader of a major political party in the North, said,
“While female political representation has improved over the years, we have still a long way to go.
“Many women have attributes which make them great public representatives. Our ability to multi-task, take a more collaborative approach to problem solving and often be more compassionate to the difficulties people are facing can make us ideal leaders within our communities.
“I urge women with zeal and passion for their community not to be put off by the male dominance within politics and to get involved in public life whether as a candidate for a political party or as a community activist lobbying on issues that matter to local people.
“Above all, I believe that women can be excellent persuaders and crusaders improving policies to make lives better for people.
“We must be forthcoming and courageous if we are to ever break the mould,” she added.