8 March was International Women’s Day, a timely reminder that we need more recognition for women, and for women in Wales. That’s why I joined Welsh Labour women AMs this week to urge the public to ‘Back the Plaque’, a campaign to give remarkable Welsh women the recognition they deserve by installing purple plaques on their former homes or places of work. There are currently an estimated 250 mainly blue plaques commemorating notable figures in Wales, the overwhelming majority highlighting men’s achievements. We chose International Women’s Day to launch the Purple Plaque campaign in recognition of prominent, successful and historic women who are recognised less often than men of a similar standing.
I’m taking part in the Wales Assembly of Women Annual Conference 2017 tomorrow and will be answering the question “Will Brexit be positive or negative for Welsh women?”. I believe women in particular will face a greater burden from the impacts for decades to come. Hard-won employment rights, like maternity rights, whilst not immediately at risk, could now theoretically be put at risk because we won’t have the EU legal safety net. Countless women in Wales undertake part-time shop work to pay the bills or to pay for those little extras. These women now have equal rights with their full-time colleagues thanks to the EU and we should not take these rights for granted: outside of the EU any future UK Government could take them away.
For the moment, politics has triumphed over economics. Our response to this crisis must be to ensure that it is the right kind of politics which wins out. We must try our best to turn this difficult situation into an opportunity.
My fellow Labour AM Joyce Watson and I will be taking part in an event to mark International Women’s Day at Whitland Town Hall on Sunday (12 March). The event which is organised by the local Labour Party is open to members of the public. The cost is £6 per person with lunch and refreshments provided. For more information please contact my constituency office on 01437 675588.