It’s been 100 years since the first International Women’s Day. Since then it has grown into a truly global event – a day that recognises the achievements of girls and women across the world.
We like to think that every day is International Women’s Day in Wales as the Welsh Government is striving to do all it can to support girls and women realise their potential and to create equality.
Here are some of the things we’re doing to help women aspire and achieve in Wales across all policy areas we are responsible for.
- The Gender Equality Review has shone a light on areas we need to improve and has challenged us to do better. In the coming week we will set out priority areas for the coming years.
- Reflecting Wales in Running Wales is our strategy to improve diversity in public life. We provide support to the Women’s Equality Network Wales and EYST to run mentoring programmes to help develop the next generation of leaders. We need more women and under-represented groups in our public bodies as well as in politics and business to help run Wales.
- We want to ensure girls and young women feel supported to consider all sorts of career paths, like STEM roles. Initiatives include the Physics Mentoring Programme, the Engineering Education Scheme Wales and the Improving Gender Balance pilot scheme.
- We are creating opportunities in the workplace and we’re investing in apprenticeships. We are set to exceed our target of creating 100,000 all age, high quality apprenticeship opportunities during this Assembly term, giving women the opportunity to become tomorrow’s leaders, pioneers, innovators and CEOs.
- More than £3.3 million has been committed this year to provide free period products to girls and women on low-incomes and to all learners in schools and FE colleges in Wales. We’re also providing free period products in hospitals.
- Our childcare offer is helping to support parents, particularly mothers, into employment and making it easier for parents to take up and retain jobs. Almost 16,000 families were accessing the offer in July 2019.
- 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act. A landmark piece of legislation. More than 173,000 people in Wales have accessed training through the National Training Framework. This means more than 173,000 people are more confident to respond to those experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence.
- It’s important that decisions about the future have input from young people. Young women are speaking out on climate change and want to play a part in influencing decisions that affect their lives. This is why we have introduced the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill, which will extend the right to vote in local elections to 16 and 17-year-olds and all foreign citizens legally resident in Wales.
- Supporting women in agriculture is a key part of our Farming Connect strategy to support the farming, food and forestry business. The Welsh Government is committed to continuing to provide a specific support package for women in our rural communities.
- While making policies that shape the future, we also want to recognise the women of the past. Our support for the Purple Plaques campaign, the 100 Welsh Women list and the Monumental Welsh Women is helping to highlight the remarkable women of Wales who have helped shape the country we live in today and to inspire the next generation.