A group of young women will be spending the afternoon at Cardiff Council today having been given the chance to shadow the Leader and Deputy Leader, and take a look at the inner workings of local political life.
Chwarae Teg, Wales’ leading gender equality charity, runs the #LeadHerShip project, which will see the four young women getting first-hand experience and learning how local government makes decisions for people in Wales. Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas and Deputy Leader, Cllr Sarah Merry will meet the group to discuss their roles within the authority.
The participants – Sumaiya Quraishi, Chloe Reid, Varshamol Geegy and Della Hill – who all reside in the Cardiff local authority area will then join a public cabinet meeting.
Women are still notably absent from many decision-making roles in Wales making up just 28% of MPs and councillors.
Chwarae Teg works to ensure that women become better represented in such decision making roles. Through projects such as #LeadHerShip the charity aims to provide young women with a platform so that their voices are heard at the highest levels of Welsh politics.
Emma Tamplin, Chwarae Teg said:
“#LeadHerShip aim is to give young women a real insight into the political opportunities available to them and to inspire a future generation of female leaders. We will only be able to truly address all of the issues we face as a society, when we have diverse representatives that reflect the communities we live in.
“We will be running the project in some other local authority areas too, in order to offer young women in Wales a unique chance to get real life understanding of what it’s like to be a politician as well as to learn more about the inner workings of councils. We want to show young women in Wales that they can get their voices heard and play an important role in shaping the future.”
Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said:
“I welcome the opportunity for Cardiff Council to host four of this year’s #LeadHerShip participants. I hope it will play a part in giving more women and girls in Wales the chance to see what it’s like working in politics and show them that they have the potential to be leaders. We need to make sure that we’re encouraging our younger generations to aim high and feel they have the potential to make changes.
“As a council we recognise the importance and benefits of gender equality in and outside of the workplace. #LeadHerShip enables us to demonstrate this by supporting a project that I’m sure will have a positive impact and result in real changes in the future.”
Deputy Council Leader, Cllr Sarah Merry said:
“As a female politician, I recognise the importance of showing young women what can be achieved, what opportunities are available to them and that gender should not get in the way of aspirations.
“It is so important that girls and young women grow up in the knowledge that they will be encouraged to realise their goals, and that as decision-makers they will be respected.
“It is also important to have representative decision-makers, so I am pleased to support this project which encourages young women to become involved in local government.”