Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
This year’s theme is #EachforEqual. The campaign is raising awareness of how all our actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on society. Together, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world.
Equality at our core
We’re proud champions of equality at the National Assembly for Wales. Established in 1999, the Assembly had the principle of equal opportunities at its core.
The laws and rules that govern the Assembly have specific requirements that our work should be conducted “with due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people.”
Leading the way
As a legislature, we’ve led the way with equality. In 2003, we became the first legislature in the world to achieve a gender balance with 30 women and 30 men. Currently, 47% of AMs are female. The proportion has never fallen below 40%.
Globally the average percentage of women in national parliaments is 24%. The Assembly has always held a higher proportion of women Members than the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Women hold some of the most senior roles at the Assembly. Our Presiding Officer is Elin Jones AM. The role is similar to Speakers and Presiding Officers in parliaments across the world, although responsibilities vary from country to country. Ann Jones AM is the Deputy Presiding Officer.
Manon Antoniazzi is the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Assembly. 60% of senior managers in the Assembly are women.
Giving a platform to young people
The Welsh Youth Parliament gives a platform to young people to have their voices heard and debate issues of importance. Equality and inclusivity, are at its core. Young people aged 11-18 make up the 60 Members of the Welsh Youth Parliament, 58% are young women.
We investigate issues relating to gender equality including parenting and work; violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence and ensuring diverse representation in local government.