- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Members of Wales’ only Co-operative Women’s Guild gathered at Llanelli library on Saturday (7 March) to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Joyce Watson AM, a member of the Llanelli branch, was invited to speak on the subject of this year’s theme: ‘make it happen’.
The Labour Mid and West AM paid tribute to prominent local women from the past and present. She said:
“Llanelli has a long and proud history when it comes to women’s rights and gender equality. More than a century ago, Emmeline Pankhurst, the political activist and suffragette, gave a speech at the Parish Hall. She was a truly remarkable woman who worked tirelessly to secure women the right to vote. We enjoy the inherited benefits of the victories won by previous generations of women. Our Guild is part of that spirit of activism.
“Today, globally, there is so much inequity for women and girls living in developing countries – access to healthcare and education, sexual violence, equal rights in society. Here in Wales, too, one in four women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetimes and women have been disproportionately affected by Government spending cuts. So while much has been achieved and there is much to celebrate, there is also still much to do.”
Llanelli MP Nia Griffith also attended the event.
Chair of Llanelli Co-operative Women’s Guild, Tegwen Devichand, added:
“International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate women’s achievements and rededicate ourselves to campaign for greater equality.
“It was a wonderful event. I thank Joyce, Nia and all our members for their continued commitment to and support for our cause. Locally and internationally, the Co-operative movement is a positive force for progressive change.”
The Co-operative Women’s Guild of England and Wales, founded in 1883, is one of the oldest women’s organisations in existence. Llanelli is one of 45 branches, the only one in Wales. As well as campaigning for equal rights and opportunities, the group raises money for, and supports, national charities and local causes.
International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
For more information about Joyce Watson AM’s work, contact her office on 0300 200 7092 / www.joycewatson.org.uk.