Image illustration by Nathalie Lees.
Delighted to share with you the full report from the Loyalist Women’s Engagement Survey.
As people across Northern Ireland and indeed the world continue to deal with a global pandemic, it is little wonder that the highest concern for loyalist women at present is Covid-19 with 75% citing it as a concern now. Furthermore, social issues are high on the list of concerns too with 47% concerned about employment opportunities, including low pay; 40% have concerns relating to poverty, Brexit is a concern to 40% of respondents, 34% expressing concern over inequality and 29% having concerns with housing.
The survey also revealed that 55% of loyalist women have concerns surrounding a United Ireland, 54% concerned about Irish street names, parading issues came in at 46% expressing concerns, 42% concerned about flags, 44% expressed concerns over the Centenary and 29% concerned about bonfires.
Despite the high visibility of some of these issues, the extent to which loyalist women can shape and influence policy remains unpredictable, if not negligible. It is my hope that through this survey that loyalist women will be heard in decision-making processes and policy making.
The final section of the report are quotes from loyalist women on the type of Northern Ireland they would like to see. Whilst loyalist women share common views and ideas, their experiences of growing up in Northern Ireland have shaped their lives and thus resulted in a diverse and evolving range of voices. The are a powerful starting point for understanding the breath of voice within the community of loyalist women.
You can download the full report here.