The Criccieth community came together on International’ Day of the Girl’ to celebrate the life and legacy of Megan Lloyd George.
Wales’ third Purple Plaque was unveiled in her honour at Bryn Awelon Nursing Home, a former home of the family, and followed by a celebratory gathering at the town’s Memorial Hall.
The Purple Plaques campaign, which is run by a group of volunteers and led by gender equality charity Chwarae Teg, aims to improve the recognition of remarkable women in Wales, commemorate their achievements and cement their legacy in Welsh history.
Megan Lloyd George became the first female MP for a Welsh constituency, Anglesey, from 1929-1951 and later Carmarthen from 1957-1966. Throughout this time, she championed women in significant ways.
During her maiden speech, she spoke about rural housing and the impact that poor housing was having on women on Anglesey, such as the higher death rate from TB among women compared with men.
Shecampaigned for equal pay and demanded that the Government did more to give women a responsible role in the war effort.
She was also a member of the National Eisteddfod’s Gorsedd of Bards (1935) and the President of the Parliament for Wales campaign of the early 1950s.
Megan Lloyd George was nominated by Regional Labour Assembly Member, Eluned Morgan and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes in Wales.
The AM for Mid & West Wales said:
“I am delighted that Megan Lloyd George is to be commemorated with a Purple Plaque in Cricceith. It will help to highlight her incredible story, which many people may otherwise not be aware of.
“Megan led the way for women in politics, becoming the first woman to represent a Welsh seat in the House of Commons. She was a mentor for women MPs of all parties, was the first woman member of the Welsh Church Commissioners and championed Welsh political development.
“She also took the lead in the small band of Lloyd George Liberals in Parliament, speaking regularly on issues such as agriculture, Welsh affairs and, increasingly, the rights of women.”
Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip:
“There are so many women who could be recognised with a purple plaque and we receive many very deserving nominations for women from across Wales.
“We were struck by how Megan Lloyd George seemed ahead of her time and without women like her we wouldn’t be where we are today. She was a real advocate for women and their rights, using her position to give them a voice on important issues that affected them.”
Julie Morgan, AM, said:
“The Purple Plaques campaign aims to improve the acknowledgement and appreciation of extraordinary women in Wales. They showcase and honour women across Wales who have had a long lasting impact on their communities and have previously not been given the recognition they deserve.
“Although Megan Lloyd George may be known by some we hope this unveiling will open the eyes of many others to her significant contribution to politics, Wales and the women of Wales.”
Emma Tamplin, Chwarae Teg said:
“As a gender equality charity, at Chwarae Teg we know that women deserve to be recognised at the same scale as men have been throughout history. There are so many female success stories just waiting to be put in the spotlight and inspire future generations. It’s therefore fantastic that we have been able to unveil this purple plaque to coincide with International Day of the Girl.
“There are an estimated 250 mainly blue plaques commemorating notable figures in Wales, the overwhelming majority highlighting men’s achievements, with only around a dozen female exceptions. Purple Plaques aims to address this inequality and give women a prominent place in history.”
The Purple Plaque campaign was developed by a group of female Assembly Members and launched on International Women’s Day 2017 to commemorate the late Assembly Member and equalities campaigner Val Feld. A second plaque was dedicated to Ursula Masson – Merthyr born feminist historian on International Women’s Day 2018.
For further information on Purple Plaques visit https://chwaraeteg.com/projects/purple-plaques/.