The Beginning of the Women’s Coalition
Women in Northern Ireland campaign for representation in their government.
You know, a group of women campaigning, you know, was a bit of a joke.
So it was something to be laughed at.
I do remember this idea of, go back to your kitchen and the Hen Party and all this kind of nonsense.
And that view started to come very clear when we... got to the stage of trying to actually seek votes.
That's when things did become hostile.
Some got death threats.
Some were told- how dare you?
Some in the beginning couldn'''t even say that they were involved.
My family were saying oh yes I suppose it has to be done but does it have to be you?
Yes there were scary moments but theres a sense actually of freedom in facing it.
I wouldn't vote for a woman under any circumstances.
That's a daft question.
They aren't representative of the decent Ulster women that I speak to.
The Ulster woman in the past has seen herself very much as being in support of her man.
As far as those individuals representing the Women's Coalition is concerned, I think that people will draw their own conclusions by the fact that they're prepared to come out of the closet now.
Political parties and groupings should be regarded as people on their merits, on their vision that they will bring to politics, the commitment they will bring to politics, not just because they are men or they are women.
I do have some dubious thoughts about how they, as a cross community group, can look at this election and have a policy that is at all rational.
Well, I know there's criticism at the minute that women are going to look foolish if this doesn't come off, and that's very unfortunate.
I don't feel we will look foolish, even if we didn't get in.
We have learned over the last 25 years how to cope with setbacks and different ceasefires breaking down and I think we'll cope very, very well, because as women we generally do.
Women are 52 per cent of the population in Northern Ireland.
We have a right to be at the talks table.
It's our future's being talked about, and it shouldn't be talked about solely by men.
Do we realize what's happening here?
The future of this part of the world, is going to be decided and there are going to be no women there.
We are going to be outside minding the kids.
This is actually historic.
Have you ever in Northern Ireland seen a group of all shades of political colour sitting in one place at one time all ready to talk to each other?
It's like a microcosm of should be happening in Northern Ireland, and the women are showing it.