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SWANSEA Council is celebrating and highlighting women who have played and continue to play vital roles in the city’s story.

Today(March 8) the Guildhall will be lit purple during the evening to mark International Women’s Day.

Meanwhile, throughout March the council’s cultural services team has a range of themed online activities for Women’s History Month.

The Dylan Thomas Service is using its collection to explore female writers, artists and photographers and it is also posting a series of blogs looking at Dylan’s mother Florence Thomas.

The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is presenting a month-long programme of social media posts featuring artworks, film, and audio from female artists that have previously shown at the gallery as well as highlighting two current exhibitions featuring Welsh female artists Kathryn Ashill and Anya Paintsil.

Swansea Museum is presenting online material from its 2018 exhibition looking at the passing of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave votes to women over 30 and is also posting vignettes of women associated with the museum’s own history.

Swansea’s Library Service is using its social media accounts to showcase 10 must-read books from female writers or about inspirational women, plus it is posting daily on influential Swansea and Welsh women and related books from collections.

The council’s Sport & Health team is profiling female winners from last year’s Swansea Sports Awards; highlighting the Us Girls programme, and celebrating historic achievements of Swansea’s women in sport and physical activity.

On Monday cultural services will also be posting a blog about inspirational Swansea women including Amy Dillwyn, Emily Phipps, Clara Neal, Jessie Donaldson, the Ace Sisters (pictured above) and Val Feld.

Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Better Communities, Louise Gibbard, said:

“The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Choose To Challenge and there are many women in Swansea who have done just that.

“As a council, we are committed to honouring and continuing their work. Through the work of Domestic Hub, we will always challenge domestic abuse and violence against woman and during the pandemic, we became the first council in Wales to develop a hi-tech chatbot so that support is available 24/7.

“We are also challenging period poverty in Swansea by providing grants to food banks and community groups who are getting pads, tampons and reusable options to those who need them so that no one has to suffer the indignity of going without these essential items.

“This month the council is also unveiling a blue plaque in the city centre in honour of Swansea woman Jessie Donaldson who travelled to America 170 years ago where she bravely fought and challenged slavery.”

Council cabinet member for Investment, Regeneration & Tourism, Robert Francis-Davies, said:

“Our cultural venues have a wealth of information in our collections, gathered through our programmes and exhibitions, that we are able to pull together and can share for significant dates like these.

“It’s been great to see the comprehensive contribution that these services have been able to make towards a number of commemorative dates and occasions recently including LGBGT+ History Month, the 80th Anniversary of the Three Nights Blitz and Black History Month.”

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