The Welsh Assembly have met today to hold a debate over the still prevalent inequalities of women in Wales in the lead-up to International Women’s Day Saturday 8 March.
A study published today by Cardiff University uncovered the full extent of gender-segregated work which still exists in Wales.
The report led by Dr Alison Parken, School of Social Sciences, titled The Working Patterns in Wales, has revealed four out of five workers in Wales are in gender-segregated roles.
The report found 91 per cent of jobs are held by men.
Additionally, a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has shown almost no progress has been made over the past decade in getting more women into positions of power and influence in Wales.
Liberal Democrat AM Eluned Parrott said: “While the world has changed since our mothers fought open and overt discrimination in the workplace and the world, it is clear that there is much more yet to be done.
“Here in Wales we have many female role-models to be proud of. Pioneering women such as the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales Professor Julie Williams, entrepreneurs like Wendy Sadler of Science Made Simple and the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly Rosemary Butler, have been important trailblazers for Welsh women to follow.
“But we must not be complacent and throw away the progress that has been made Equality will not have been achieved until women in traditionally male-dominated professions are no longer seen as brave pioneers, but are simply part of the workforce.”
Sarah Rees, co-chair of Women’s Equality Network Wales reinforced the importance of IWD to highlight the inequalities women face across the world and in celebrating the wonderful achievements of women.
“Women are often forgotten, for example last year when Andy Murray won Wimbledon he was praised as the first British winner in 77 years, totally erasing Virginia Wade out of history,” she said.
“One of the biggest challenges to overcome is that equality is a sideline and something which cannot be afforded when economic times are tight but my hope is that more men become inspired by IWD – for if women are the only ones working for equality then it will never happen.”
Cardiff University will be marking IWD with a range of events on and off campus.
Tonight at 7pm the Contemporary Music Group, directed by Robert Fokkens, will perform a programme of music for students and the public to highlight gender inequality in contemporary classical music.
Male composers dominate contemporary classical music.
Statistics for 2013 showed only one woman in the top 100 busiest conductors list, and no women at all among the 100 most performed composers in 2013.
A discussion panel, chaired by UK-based American composer and Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University Dr Arlene Sierra, with several of the female composers whose pieces have been performed, will follow the concert.