Posted by: Louise Bowen
Women in Public Life by Dame Rosemary Butler.
Women’s suffrage is one of the most important movements of all time, and my constituency of Newport West is particularly steeped in suffrage history.
More than 100 years after the initial movement for women’s suffrage, we are still advocating for equality across the globe. From Saudi Arabia to Yemen, women continue to fight for fairness in things that we take for granted. It is important that we continue to lobby for and on behalf of these women so that they can enjoy the freedom and independence that we experience on a daily basis.
Viscountess Rhondda is perhaps Newport’s most famous suffragette, and last year, individuals from across Newport marked the anniversary of her actions for the right to vote. Viscountess Rhondda was sent to Usk prison after refusing to pay a £10 fine for an attack on a post box on Risca Road, and went on hunger strike for five days before being later released.
I am passionate about creating opportunities to ensure that women are represented in all areas of public life and as the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, I recently created the Women in Public Life scheme which aims to address the need for more women to apply for and take up public roles and appointments. Seminars with eminent role models working in typically male-dominated fields are held regularly, and a web portal provides details on public appointments and opportunities for appropriate training.
A mentoring scheme has been established, providing intensive personal development and skills training, one to one mentoring support and role shadowing opportunities at the highest levels to motivate and encourage its participants.
It’s important for women not to pull the ladder up on women who are beneath them, and I hope that these initiatives will inspire women of all ages to make a difference and support women in their local communities.To find out more about Women in Public Life visit: www.wmad.org.uk/wipl.