Louise and Ann-Marie from Women’s Aid Federation joined dozens of women and men on Stormont’s steps on Tuesday afternoon to protest the upcoming welfare cuts.

The Empty Purse Campaign protest was attended by women’s sector representatives, Women’s Centres and trade union Unison, sending a strong message to MLAs that welfare reforms must not take money from the purses of Northern Ireland’s most impoverished and vulnerable women.

Representatives from the Empty Purse Campaign brought 108 empty purses to Stormont with a message inside for each MLA, and presented purses on the steps to a number of MLAs, including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The event highlighted the potential damage that the Welfare Reform Bill could do to women and families, especially women in abusive relationships, if Universal Credit went to the male of the household and was paid monthly.

The Bill is set to go to through the next stage through in the Assembly in September 2013.