A time to discover Wonderful Welsh Women

29th June 2020

Chwarae Teg has begun showcasing six Wonderful Welsh Women to celebrate their lives and achievements – before a ‘People’s Choice’ vote takes place at the Womenspire Awards later this year.

The digital campaign profiles a series of fantastic women each year, from all walks of life, from history and the present day. The aim is to highlight their successes, and give girls and young women across the nation role models to aspire to.

This year, Chwarae Teg collaborated with the Wales Youth Parliament (WYP), Race Council Cymru (RCC) and the Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team (EYST) Wales on the campaign. Each parliamentary area of WYP selected a woman to feature as did RCC and EYST, as follows:

Tahirah Ali – Community Volunteer, Youth Ambassador and Diversity Champion (EYST)

Kate Bosse-Griffiths – German-born Egyptologist and Welsh language writer (WYP South East Wales)

Betsi Cadwaladr – Nurse, Pioneer, Namesake to Wale’s largest health organisation (WYP North Wales)

Mrs Vernesta Cyril OBE –  Founder of the South East Wales Race Equality Council (RCC)

Caryl Parry Jones – Singer-songwriter, broadcaster, actress, and author (WYP South West Wales)

Elin Jones MS – Senedd Presiding Officer (WYP Mid and West Wales)

The women will be profiled via Chwarae Teg’s digital platforms on Instagram, twitter, Facebook and our website.

The campaign will culminate in a live vote during Chwarae Teg’s Womenspire awards on 29 September – which will lead to one woman receiving the People’s Choice trophy. This year, due to Covid19, the awards will take place online but nevertheless promises to be a night to remember.

Our Wonderful Welsh Women campaign seeks to shine a light on women who have achieved something remarkable, whether that be in science, sport, music, art, politics or elsewhere.

Cerys Furlong
Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg

Kate Bosse-Griffiths originally came from Germany, and moved here in 1936. Her mother had Jewish blood, and Kate was sacked from her post as a museum curator in the centre of Berlin because of this. She became a refugee to Britain, in order to escape the Nazis and later obtained a post at St Andrews in Scotland, before studying Egyptology at Oxford. She was my great grandmother. At Oxford she met her husband, who was a Welshman, before moving to the Rhondda to live. She learnt Welsh fluently; she was eager to integrate, and ensure her new family belonged in Wales. She raised her children (including my grandfather) through the medium of Welsh. She wrote novels and other Welsh works. She is a true heroine to me. I think she’s incredible, the way she took pride in a new life and embraced Wales with open arms. Although she was a refugee, she became Welsh, and belonged here. We can be proud that Wales gave her such a welcome. She was brave, enthusiastic and wanted to contribute towards Welsh culture.

Greta Evans
Youth Parliament Member, South-East Wales

Democracy in Wales would not be the same without our nomination, Elin Jones. From laying down the first building blocks of our Welsh Youth Parliament, ensuring that we as young people finally have a say on how we’re governed in Wales - to being at the forefront of our Senedd representing Wales globally as Our Llywydd, and also keeping to her roots ensuring Mid Wales is represented with her great work as a member of the Senedd. Modern Wales and Politics in Wales would be in a much worse position without Elin Jones.

Ifan Price
Youth Parliament Member, Mid & West Wales

I have chosen to nominate Caryl Parry Jones for this award because of her contribution to the Welsh language. Caryl’s music has become an intrinsic part of Welsh language culture and has been an inspiration to many young Welsh speakers. Caryl brings fun to the Welsh language, a very important factor as we wish to reach one million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050. Her personality shines through in her many roles as a singer-songwriter, broadcaster, actress, author and composer. Caryl proves that speaking Welsh can be fun and is a very valuable Welsh entertainer. She is skilled in the business of putting a smile on people’s faces. Her work in trying to promote the Welsh language has been incredible and for that reason, I believe she deserves to win this award.

Efan Fairclough
Youth Parliament Member, South-West Wales

I nominated Betsi Cadwaladr as she was a strong, resilient and determined woman who, despite opposition from those around her, served as a nurse during the Crimean war of 1853-56, fighting bureaucracy and the unhygienic state of facilities in order to ensure the best quality treatment for the soldiers, influencing mass change in the way patients were treated back in the UK.

Harrison Gardner
Youth Parliament Member, North Wales