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Following the closure of the Women's National Commission in December 2010, the Government conducted a national consultation on engagement with women. Its response, “Strengthening Women's Voices in Government” was published in November 2011 together with a written ministerial statement. The Government has committed to an engagement programme with women which prioritises direct ministerial contact rather than through an intermediary non-elected body. The programme is managed from within the Government Equalities Office and works with other Government Departments and the devolved administrations. Its activities include:
A programme of ministerial roundtables: all three Ministers for Women and Equalities hold regular roundtables discussions with individual women and women's organisations.
Bi-monthly women's engagement newsletter: our online newsletter is sent to over 2,000 organisations that represent women, with a combined potential reach of 1 million women
Stakeholder meetings: there are frequent meetings to consult and engage with women on areas of particular priority. For example, the Women's Business Council has held a series of consultative meetings, and a dedicated NGO Liaison Group is established each year to ensure close co-ordination in the run-up to the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The new approach is well established, understood and largely appreciated by our stakeholders. Over the coming year we plan to increase our reach to those women who are under-represented through the current channels, through a programme of social and digital engagement.
Women's Engagement Newsletter:
Consultation response: Strengthening Women's Voices: