#POWiPL Portal launched to help increase number of women in Welsh public life

Published 02/10/2013   |   Last Updated 14/07/2014

#POWiPL Portal launched to help increase number of women in Welsh public life

02 October 2013

The National Assembly for Wales today (2 Oct) launches a one-stop shop digital advice portal aimed at increasing the representation of women in public office in Wales.

The Women in Public Life portal is being launched by the Presiding Officer in partnership with the Women Making a Difference project.

It will provide information about how to get involved in public office, the latest vacancies, training opportunities and testimony from inspirational women who have already succeeded in public office.

“When you look at the figures relating to the representation of women in public life in Wales, it makes sobering reading,” said the Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM.

“That’s why I have made this issue one of my key priorities as Presiding Officer, and why I have sought the views of women throughout Wales about how we can tackle the barriers.

“One of the key suggestions was to set up a web portal and we are delivering on that commitment today.

“I would like to thank all the partners we have worked with to make #POWiPL such a success, including the Equalities & Human Rights Commission, IWA, Women’s Equality Network and the Electoral Reform Society.

“But particular thanks to Women Making a Difference, who have collaborated in the creation of the POWiPL Portal.”

The portal is one of the outcomes of the Presiding Officer’s “Women in Public Life Campaign” #POWiPL.

It’s a campaign that recently saw the Presiding Officer named Devolved Parliament or Assembly Member of the Year, at the annual Women in Public Life awards in London, for her work in putting the issue of barriers to women entering public life firmly at the top of the political agenda.

The campaign was launched more than 18 months ago with the aim of lowering the barriers that women face in public life.

“The National Assembly for Wales gave a welcome injection of hope on women’s representation,” said Shami Chakrabarti, the director of civil liberties camapiagn group Liberty, who gave a keynote speech about barriers to women at a Pierhead session in July.

“But,having seen how quickly one step forward becomes two steps back, complacency is a luxury we can ill afford.So let’s not accept the status quo and be restless and impatient for gender equality.”

“I think we all need a mentor and something we can do is to try and ensure that women help other women rather than pulling away the ladder,” said leading scientist Baroness Susan Greenfield, who also took part in a #POWiPL session about barriers to women in science earlier this year.

“And that’s why I support the Presiding Officer’s Women in Public Life campaign and the web portal.”

The portal can be accessed via the Women in Public Life portal or through the Twitter channel @WomenofWales.

You can watch an explainer video by clicking here

It will be launched between 11.00 and 12.00 at a conference in Siambr Hywel, at the Assembly, organised in partnership with Cardiff University’s Gendered Research Opportunities unit.

The remainder of the conference will include keynote speeches on the barriers facing women in a number of fields.