§ Jackie Ballard
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the answer of 24 June 1998,Official Report, columns 557–58, prior to 18 May, what mechanisms were used to determine how legislation passed in the current session would affect women; what consultation she had with women's organisations; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
Guidance on Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment (PAFT) was issued in December 1993 to Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office. Under this guidance policy proposals, including 35W new legislation, are subject to PAFT appraisal to explore: the potential for differential impact on any particular group; and the justification for any differential impact identified.
Eight different groupings are considered as part of PAFT appraisals, including impacts on women.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced on 10 July 1998 that a new statutory obligation on the public sector would replace existing PAFT guidelines.
Consultations with women's organisations were as follows:—
Organisation DED Deregulation (NI) Order 1997 Women's Forum (NI) DENI Activity Centres (Young Persons' Safety) (NI) Order NI Women's Coalition Education (NI) Order 1998 Women's Forum (NI) NI Women's Coalition Museums and Galleries (NI) Order NI Women's Coalition DFP Occupation of the Family Homes and Domestic Violence (NI) Order 1998 Women's Aid Rape Crisis Centre Women's Support Groups NIO The Police (NI) Bill NI Women's Coalition