EnglishJane Hutt talks about how the proportion of women in the National Assembly for Wales has remained constantly high since its creation in 1998, relative to the numbers of women in Welsh local government or in UK national government over the same period of time. You can find out more about the extraordinary breakthrough of women in party politics in Scotland and Wales in Politics and Legislation.
Formation of the National Assembly for WalesThe majority voted ‘yes’ to a referendum on Welsh devolution in 1997, and in 1998 the National Assembly for Wales was created. This meant that key areas of legislative power relating to Wales became the responsibility of an organisation in Cardiff, rather than of central government in London. A National Assembly Advisory Group was set up in 1997 to achieve consensus and make recommendations for the Assembly. This group included five women and a number of women’s organisations who lobbied for family-friendly working practices, gender-neutral titles and term times that coincided with school term times. In the 1999 elections to the National Assembly over 40% of the elected MPs were women, compared to 18% elected women MPs in the House of Commons at the same time. Laws passed in 2006 and 2011 gave further powers to the National Assembly. The 2006 Act also created the Welsh government, an executive body separate from the National Assembly. Today the Welsh government deals with most day-to-day issues, including health, education, transport and local government; UK government still controls areas such as defence and taxation.
Do you think issues such as national liberation and feminism are connected? In what way?
Jane Hutt Labour Candidate For The Vale Of Glamorgan Seat In The New National Assembly photograph © Getty Images
- Jane Hutt discusses women in the Welsh Assembly
- 6 January 2012
- Sound recording
- Sisterhood and After: The Women's Liberation Oral History Project
- © British Library
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Sisterhood and After Research Team
- Race, place and nation
National identity played an important part in the politics of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Find out how feminist campaigners in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales faced the complications of national liberation struggles in addition to their fight for women’s equality.