This year the Assembly will be welcoming Dr Dinah Evans to deliver our annual Remembrance Lecture on the subject of ‘Welsh Women’s response to the First World War’.
Dr Dinah Evans taught Modern and Contemporary History at Bangor University until 2016. She is a member of the committee of Women’s Archive Wales and has a particular interest in the impact of the two world wars on Wales and Welsh society.
Her research into the impact of the First World War on Welsh women was published in a chapter in the book ‘Creithiau’ in 2016 and at present she is preparing for the publication, early in 2019, of her research into the post-war reconstruction of Swansea.
Here she introduces some of the issues covered in her lecture, looking at the role and contribution of Welsh women during the First World War, marking the centenary of Women’s Suffrage.
It is so very important that we understand the part played by both men and women in the First World War, because only then can we appreciate the totality of their effort and sacrifice.
These last years have brought alive the horrors of the First World War for so many people in this country. Many schools decided to take their pupils across to France and Belgium to visit the vast war cemeteries so that they could appreciate the magnitude of the sacrifices made. The brutal reality of the war has also been shown in graphic detail in exhibitions, documentaries and films. Ceremonies have been held and, across the country, great memorial displays of poppies have been constructed.
Much of the attention has focussed on the wartime experience of the men, many of them little more than boys, but these soldiers, sailors and airmen had mothers, wives, sisters and daughters and their wartime history is very important too. Across the age groups and class barriers of the time, women also played their part in the war effort. Some doing jobs that freed up men to go to fight, others organising auxiliary hospitals or fundraising. For many women though, their experience of wartime work was very dangerous. Thousands of women and girls worked in armament factories across Wales, risking their health, and lives, as they made and (usually by hand) filled shells with explosives. Other Welsh young women trained as nurses and then travelled out to battlefields across Europe as far afield as Alexandria in Egypt and Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) where they nursed the sick and dying, often in appalling conditions and at considerable personal risk.
Only by understanding the part played both by men, and women, in all aspects of the war effort can we appreciate the enormity of their effort and sacrifice, on the battlefields and on the home front.
The Remembrance lecture will be followed by a question and answer session chaired by Dr Elin Royles. Dr Elin Royles is Senior Lecturer at Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics. The Department will also be celebrating its centenary in 1919, being founded shortly after Armistice day as a response to the extreme violence of the First World War.
The lecture is free to attend but attendees are required to register. Please visit our Eventbrite page or contact 0300 200 6565.
Afterwards there will be a short reception when there’ll be an opportunity to view the two exhibitions which complement our Remembrance lecture:
‘The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Wales’ exhibition and ‘The Soldier’s Own Diary’ by Scarlet Raven and Marc Marot.
‘The Soldier’s Own Diary’ is an augmented reality painting. Viewers can use a smartphone app to unlock the work, stripping away layers of paint to reveal the story beneath. How? Watch artist Scarlett Raven’s video to find out:
During August 2018 the National Assembly for Wales was proud to play an integral role in this year’s National Eisteddfod by hosting a range of exhibitions, discussions and events exploring life in Wales.
Dubbed the Eisteddfod with no fence, the Senedd became home to Y Lle Celf (the art exhibition) and the Societies Pavilion.
The Eisteddfod has hosted an ‘Art and Crafts’ exhibition in some form since 1865. Nowadays Y Lle Celf comprises of a multi-media exhibition of contemporary fine and applied art, and a celebration of architecture in Wales.
This year exhibits included Jin Eui Kim’s eye-catching ceramics, 2018 Tony Globe Award winner Philip Watkins’ paintings of Valleys life and 2018 Gold Medal and People’s Choice award winner Zoe Preece’s ceramic and wood pieces, alongside many other thought-provoking displays.
Covering much of the Senedd’s floor, you can watch André Stitt’s huge installation take shape in this time-lapse video:
The Societies Pavilion saw the Assembly host discussions on issues including austerity, women’s role in politics, votes at 16, democracy and the arts, electoral reform and justice in Wales.
If you missed them the first time you can view them again here:
Democracy and the Arts: the effect of one on the other Democracy and the Arts play a central role in the lives of Welsh people – but how do they affect each other?
Llywydd of the National Assembly, Elin Jones AM, chaired a discussion panel along with the Chair of the Assembly’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Bethan Sayed AM, Artist Elin Meredydd and leading dance, performance artist and presenter Eddie Ladd.
Ready for the vote?
An event in partnership with the Electoral Commission to discuss reducing the voting age to 16 at elections in Wales.
The discussion was chaired by Elan Closs Stephens, Electoral Commissioner for Wales with panellists Elin Jones AM, Llywydd, Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales and young people including Ethan Williams, Vice-President of Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Vice-Chair of the Syr IfanC Board, the Urdd’s National Youth Forum.
Women’s Role in Politics Marking 100 years since the successful campaign to secure votes for women, Elin Jones AM, Llywydd, was joined by historian Dr Elin Jones to discuss the influence of women on politics in Wales, in the past and present. Journalist and TV presenter Bethan Rhys Roberts chaired.
6948 people attended events at the Societies Pavilion during the week.
For non-fluent Welsh speakers the Pierhead became the home of Shw’mae Caerdydd – the centre for information about the Welsh language – for the duration of the festival. Sessions included a discussion about Welsh dialects, alongside workshops from clog dancing to hat making.
Friday 10 August saw Llywydd Elin Jones among those honoured by the Gorsedd of the Bards, alongside Welsh rugby international Jamie Roberts and the musician Geraint Jarman, and was presented with the blue robe for her service to the nation.
Later in the week there was also the small matter of the homecoming event for Geraint Thomas, celebrating his remarkable achievement in becoming the first ever Welshman to win the Tour de France.
Geraint was welcomed by Llywydd Elin Jones at her annual reception at the Eisteddfod, before being greeted by Catrin Heledd, Band Pres Llanreggub, the band Siddi and finally the thousands of excited fans who had congregated on the steps of the Senedd.
One of the most popular activities at the Senedd during the week was the chance to visit the Assembly’s debating Chamber, where for the first time visitors were able to have their picture taken in the Llywydd’s seat. Over 5595 people took advantage of this unique opportunity to momentarily assume the role of the Llywydd, and experience what it might be like to oversee debates in the Chamber.
During the Eisteddfod we welcomed over 18,000 visitors to the Senedd, over half of which had never visited the Assembly before, and we hope they left knowing a little bit more about how devolution in Wales works.
This year’s Y Lle Celf artists were: Justine Allison, Billy Bagilhole, Jo Berry, Kelly Best, Zena Blackwell, Steve Buck, Ray Church, Nerea Martinez de Lecea, Cath Fairgrieve, Mark Houghton, Gethin Wyn, Jones, Jin Eui Kim, Anna Lewis, Laura Lillie, Gweni Llwyd, James Moore, Marged Elin Owain, Zoe Preece, Glyn Roberts, John Rowley, André Stitt, Caroline Taylor, Jennifer Taylor, Sean Vicary, Adele Vye, Philip Watkins, and Casper White.
By Abi Lasebikan, Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Network Coordinator
What are Workplace Equality Networks (WENs)?
As Network Coordinator I see the WENs as a place for people who identify with a protected characteristic group and/or have an interest in matters relating to a particular diversity strand (i.e. gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, religion/belief, age, pregnancy/maternity, sex, marriage/civil partnership and disability), to come together to:
give and receive pastoral care;
share information relating to equality; promote equality issues related to their group;
access learning opportunities to build skills that will help individuals develop personally as well as in their career, and
act as critical agents for change within the organisation.
Who are the WENs open to?
The networks are open to all Assembly Members, AMSS, Commission staff and employees of our on-site contractors to join as either members or as allies, as they recognise that anyone, not only those directly affected, can have an interest in a particular equality issue. This interest can exist for many reasons, including because of a connection to someone who is affected e.g. a child, spouse or relative or because of the belief it’s ‘the right thing’. Allies are welcome because to achieve real Diversity and Inclusion requires a collective effort involving everyone.
What are the benefits of the WENs for the individual?
For an individual the networks can:
Provide informal peer support and advice.
Offer a platform for discussing issues affecting members of the networks.
Enhance career development and progression for staff, through various programmes, including mentoring opportunities.
Present networking opportunities.
Give members the chance to identify and advise the Assembly Commission on the issues which affect staff, through impact assessment of policies.
What are the benefits of the WENs for the organisation?
Because of their access and insight these networks can help us to:
Understand the value in managing and harnessing the potential of an increasingly diverse workforce.
Recruit and retain the most talented people.
Provide the best service to stakeholders.
Make a positive difference to the working culture of the Assembly.
They do this because the collective intelligence of the WENs:
Make it possible for us to understand what it is like to work in that environment from the perspective of the members.
Enable us to understand our diverse service users.
Serve as effective consultative and advisory bodies on diversity related matters.
The networks input leads to better policies and procedures which means happier employees who can be themselves, resulting in an organisation that performs better and is therefore better able to attract and retain top talent.
The Assembly recognises that the networks are instrumental to the organisation in its aim to achieve a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment for all. It supports the networks and would encourage all Assembly Members, Assembly Member Support Staff (AMSS), Commission staff and employees of our on-site contractors to support and enable their staff to participate in and engage with network activities.
Our current networks are:
EMBRACE – our disability network. It is open to disabled people, those who support disabled people and people with an interest in disability equality. Within EMBRACE are subsidiary dyslexia and chronic pain groups. Chaired by Abi Phillips
OUT-NAW – our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) network. It is a closed group for LGBT people, it is open to LGBT people as members and people with an interest in LGBT equality as allies. Co-chaired by Craig Stephenson and Jayelle Robinson-Larkin
TEULU – our Working Parent and Carer network, is currently a virtual network that operates mainly online. New network members and network allies are always welcome. Co-chaired by Holly Pembridge and Joel Steed
REACH – The Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage network is our Black Minority Ethnic (BME) network. It is open to BME people as members and people who support race equality as allies. Co-chaired by Abi Lasebikan and Raz Roap
The Networks have contributed to and raised the profile of the organisation in a variety of ways. They have:
Input into many impact assessment of policies and projects, such as the Accessible Car Parking policy, Human Resources Priority Postings policy, EFM refurbishments projects, etc.
Attended events, like: Pride and Sparkle, Stonewall Cymru’s Workplace Equality Index Awards, All Wales Annual Race Equality Conference, Mela, etc.
Participated in community incentives, like collecting for the Cardiff Foodbank.
Produced a range of blogs, factsheets and guidance on a variety of topics, such as: Ramadan, Cultural Diversity, Invisible Disabilities, Bisexual Awareness, Mental Health, etc.
Worked closely with other public sector organisations, such as Gwent and South Wales Police, Welsh Government, Cardiff University, to promote diversity and inclusion.
That is just a flavour of the impressive achievements of the networks. Further information on the networks can be found at: http://members/networks.
Championing the WENs
A senior champion is someone who openly supports the WENs at the highest level of the organisation. They are vocal about the achievements of the network and how it benefits the organisation as well as willing to lend the weight of their leadership to the network. I am pleased to say that both Dave Tosh and Craig Stephenson are not only champions for BME and LGBT issues respectively but have agreed to champion equality issues as a whole on the Management Board.
“As the BME Champion I can act as a voice, at Director level, and work with the network to help support our BME staff to address some of the issues affecting them”. Dave Tosh, Director of Resources and BME Champion
The Champions can also be a beacon to others that the organisation is truly an inclusive organisation that recognises talent, irrespective of whether the person belongs to a protected characteristic group.
“It’s very important that there are visible LGBT people at all levels within the organisation, and also that people see that being from a minority group hasn’t hindered peoples’ ability to reach more senior levels. Personally, I think that if you have reached a position which gives you visibility, and if you can inspire someone else, if you can lead by example, you should.” Craig Stephenson
October is Black History Month (BHM), it is the time of year when the culture, history and achievements of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities is recognised and celebrated.
The contributions that BME people have made to the development of British society, technology, economy and culture has been made possible by those brave men and women who paved the way. They were the beacon for other BME people, role models and examples of what was achievable.
The Black History Association Wales, in partnership with the African Community Centre, Wales Millennium Centre, Unison Cymru, Radio Cardiff and The Prince’s Trust Cymru, have announce this year’s theme as ‘Great Black Women, Past & Present’. In line with that theme here are 12 pioneering BME women who have paved the way for others to follow:
1. Mary Prince: The first Black woman to write and publish an autobiography ‘The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave’, an account of the horrors of life on the plantations enslavement, published in Britain c.1831. Mary Prince was also the first woman to present an anti-slavery petition to Parliament.
2. Una Marson:The first Black female broadcaster at the BBC from 1939 to 1946.
3. Elisabeth Welch: One of the first Black people to have her own BBC radio series in 1935, ‘Soft Lights and Sweet Music’, which made her a household name in Britain.
4. Sislin Fay Allen: Britain’s first black WPC, joining the Metropolitan Police in 1968.
5. Lilian Bader: One of the first women in the RAF to qualify as an instrument repairer, after joining the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Visit the Ministry Of Defense’s blogto find out more about BME people in the armed forces
6. Moira Stuart, OBE: the first female newsreader of African-Caribbean heritage on British television.
7. Diane Abbott, MP: The first black woman Member of Parliament when she was elected to the House of Commons in the 1987 general election.
8. Betty Campbell: Who in the 1970s became the nation’s first black head teacher with her post at Mount Stuart Primary in Butetown, Cardiff.
9. and 10.Baroness Valerie Amos: The first black woman cabinet minister and joint first black woman peer with Baroness Patricia Scotland.
11. Dame Jocelyn Barrow: The first black woman Governor of the BBC.
12. Claudia Jones: Founder of Britain’s first black weekly newspaper “The Westindian Gazette”, also known as the mother of the Notting Hill Carnival.
During the last week of March the National Assembly for Wales held its week-long #SeneddWrexham series of events. Here Lowri Lloyd Williams, the North Wales Outreach Manager runs through the week’s events.
Monday 23 March 2015
Launching #SeneddWrexham, we parked the Assembly bus in the town’s Queens Square, where we had a steady stream of visitors during the day.
Mr Pugh was our first visitor, who stopped by on his way to collect milk for his wife, to raise points around transport in the Wrexham area. He was concerned about the road surfaces as well as the amount of roadworks on the A55 and its effect on the area. Parking charges was also a point Mr Pugh wanted to raise.
Other issues raised on the bus during the day included broadband speed, raising awareness of the Assembly’s work and health related matters, specifically breast cancer services.
Andrew Atkinson and Alex Jones from Wrexham Business Group also came on the bus to raise points about business rates. They left the following video regarding business rates in the town.
We were also visited on the bus by Dr Helen Paterson, Chief Executive of Wrexham Borough Counciland John Gallenders, Chief Executive of AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations Wrexham) who encouraged their staff to get involved in #SeneddWrexham.
Tuesday 24 March 2015
Day two of #SeneddWrexham and the Assembly bus was back in Queens Square, and the people of Wrexham were still making the most of our presence, and coming to see us with plenty of questions, comments and matters to raise.
Health again was a popular topic with waiting times, cross border services and free prescriptions among the matters raised. Members of the public who raised these were encouraged to contact their Assembly Members to discuss further and look at the work the National Assembly for Wales Health and Social Care committeehave done recently.
We were delighted to be joined by Welsh Baccalaureate students from St Christopher’s School, Wrexham during the morning. They were given a short presentation on the National Assembly for Wales and as part of the Votes@16 consultation we had an interesting debate around lowering the voting age to 16. You can find out more about the consultation here.They also thought that young people should be given more opportunities to learn about politics and that Assembly Members should commit to having young people shadow them.
St Christophers School during their visit to the bus.
We were also visited by Lynn Morris and Yvonne McCarroll from Wrexham Tenants Group who wanted to learn about ways that tenants could get involved and have their say on issues that affect them. As I work for the Outreach team in North Wales this gave me a really good new contact in the Wrexham area that I can contact when working with the Assembly’s Committees on future consultations.
While some of the team were on the Assembly bus, others were at The Wrexham Foyer talking with members of their Breakfast club. They were interested to hear about who represents them and how they can have their voice heard. They also talked about the voting process and learned about how they can register to vote. Listen to Courtney and Amy talk about it here:
On Tuesday night we visited young people at The Vic in Wrexham to do a session on what the Assembly is, how many Assembly Members they have and what their job is. Other members of the team were with Dynamic Wrexham holding a similar interactive session.
Wednesday 25 March 2015
The Assembly’s presence in the center of town for #SeneddWrexham continued on Wednesday with the team setting up a pop-up stand at Contact Wrexham on Lord Street. People took the opportunity to speak to Assembly staff as they visited Wrexham council for other matters.
We also had a presence at the Info Shop in Wrexham on Wednesday to get young people to complete the Vote@16? Consultation. We met with some really interesting young people who have strong opinions about the topic. We spent some time with Lacey, 22, from Wrexham, who is against lowering the voting age as there is not enough education for young people and so they don’t know who to vote for. We also visited BAWSOduring the morning to hold a session explaining the areas effecting their life that the Assembly is responsible for, who represents them and how they can raise issues with the Assembly.
Participants during the BAWSO session.
The sessions continued for the team on Wednesday afternoon with the team visiting Welsh Women’s Aidin Wrexham to hold two sessions on understanding and engaging with the Assembly. It was really interesting session with plenty of discussion points raised. Here’s what Alison Hamlington had to say following the session:
Thursday 26 March 2015
#SeneddWrexham continued to pick up pace on Thursday with activities and events all over the town.
The Assembly was at Coleg Cambriaall day where students streamed in to take part in the votes@16 consultationwhere we wanted to hear what 11-25 year olds think about lowering the voting age to 16. We had over 300 consultation questionnaires completed during the day.
In addition we had a filming station set up in the library of Coleg Cambria, where media students interviewed their peers about lowering the voting age to 16. The students did all the filming themselves, and discussed other matters too including whether enough information about politics is given to young people and whether voting should be mandatory. You can see these videos through the playlist
The students staged a ‘Your Assembly takeover’, where their content took over our website aimed at young people for the day. You can view photographs from the day in our Flickr Album.
The day ended with a #SeneddWrexham reception hosted by the Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler AM. It was a successful event with around 70 local people present where we celebrated the work of community champions in the Wrexham area. To the sound of musicians from Coleg Cambria there was plenty of networking between politicians, leaders of civic and community leaders during the evening.
Friday 27 March 2015
The final day of #SeneddWrexham arrived and it was another busy day for the team.
Friday started with our education officers over in Rhosnesni High School where over 150 young people took part in the votes@16? consultation. This was followed by a session with the school council.
Deputy Presiding Officer David Melding AM joined in with the school council meeting where they discussed the issues they had tackled within the school during the past 12 months, including school uniform.
The school council having their say for votes@16.
After spending the morning on our pop-up stand at Glyndwr University, I spent the afternoon with a group from Hafal in Wrexham delivering the final understanding and engaging workshop of the week. It was an interactive session with plenty of discussion and we were joined by Aled Roberts AM where he spoke about his role as an Assembly Member.
The Hafal group following the presentation.
Meanwhile, over in Glyndwr University members of National Assembly for Wales and Cardiff University staff met with students and hyperlocal bloggers and journalists. The event was part of the Presiding Officer’s Democratic Deficitinitiative, to try and help community journalists around Wales to access information about the Assembly more easily.
The Presiding Officer has pledged to work towards addressing the ‘Democratic Deficit’ caused by large numbers of people in Wales consuming news and current affairs from UK broadcasters and media organisations which often ignore the different public policy landscape in Wales compared to England.
Journalists, including many from the Glyndwr journalism school, had the chance to interview the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM and the Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM. They also attended a press conference style event with Dame Rosemary Butler AM.
We would like to thank everyone who engaged with us during the week for the lovely warm welcome that we had in Wrexham.
It’s was a fantastic week and I know we’ve all had a lot out of the work that we’ve done and hope that you have too.
You can view photographs from the week in our Flickr album .
If you’d like to learn more about the work of the Outreach team in North Wales, then you can contact the Assembly on 0300 200 6565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Assembly for Wales International Women’s Day 2012 08 March 2012
As the National Assembly’s first female Presiding Officer, I am committed to ensuring that everyone in Wales has a say in the way our country is run. In particular, I want Welsh women’s voices to be heard and their views valued. I’d therefore like to invite you to join me on Thursday 08 March to mark International Women’s Day at the Assembly in Cardiff Bay.
This year, the Assembly has been working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Institute of Welsh Affairs, the Women’s Institute and the British Council to put together a programme of activities in the Senedd and in the Pierhead.
The day will begin with a breakfast meeting in the Pierhead from 08.30 until 10.30, the first of a series of such meetings that will be held across Wales this year. I will also be hosting a lecture in partnership with the British Council which will begin at 12.00. This will be followed by lunch at 13.00.
The remainder of the day will feature discussion and debate from noted Welsh
women as well as workshops and activities hosted by the Women’s Institute.
Places are limited so we would be grateful if you could confirm your attendance at
the breakfast, lunchtime lecture or full programme of activities.