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About Us

The Women’s Resource and Development Agency is a charity which provides support for women’s groups and networks across Northern Ireland.  Established in 1983 (and formerly known as the Women’s Education Project) it is a regional organisation with a mission to advance women’s equality and participation in society by working to bring about social, political and economic change.  

We work with women’s groups in the most severely disadvantaged communities, from all traditions and from urban and rural areas of Northern Ireland.  We train women to a Level 3 Certificate in Learning and Development, enabling them to become Community Facilitators, delivering our wide range of programs from health awareness programmes to good relations workshops.  Our pool of Community Facilitators provides the foundation for much of our work, constituting a positive force for community development. 

Community Direct, our social economy business, provides self-employment opportunities to many Community Facilitators trained by WRDA and makes a significant contribution to the overall sustainability of the organisation.  Using a proven model combining peer education and experiential learning, our service is an ideal way to inform, consult and empower individuals in disadvantaged communities.

We empower women from local communities and support them to articulate their needs. We work from the grass roots to the highest levels of policy making and politics, providing advocacy and lobbying support. WRDA works to create enhanced channels of communication between the women’s sector and government in Northern Ireland and bring a ‘gender perspective’ to discussions and decisions that happen in Stormont.  This work is accomplished through our Assembly Monitor e-Newsletter, Gender Forums and Gender Agenda briefings.  We are represented on a wide range of policy fora and s75 departmental reference groups, enabling us to engage directly with politicians and policy makers.

We are a membership organisation and currently have a membership of 190+ groups and organisations.  WRDA manages Womenslink, the e-list for the womens sector and the Women’s Policy Group e-list. We manage the five year Lottery-funded ‘Regional Women’s Centres Learning Partnership’ under the Live and Learn programme and also chair the all-Ireland ‘Hanna’s House’ peace building project.

We have achieved Investors in People Bronze status, in recognition of our excellent management and team structures.

WRDA celebrate International Women's Day 2011
WRDA Staff and Board celebrate International Women's Day 2011
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About Us | News | Training | Lobbying | Policy | Membership | Resources | Social Enterprise | Contact Us | IWD 2014