Welsh leader pledges to create a gender equal government

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones (centre) expressed the importance of having a government that represents gender equality (Reuters)

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones (centre) expressed the importance of having a government that represents gender equality (Reuters)

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones announced on Monday that he pledges to see transformation towards gender equality within the country’s government and society.

In a radio interview with BBC, Jones expressed the importance of having a government that represents gender equality. According to the BBC, Jones hopes to review Welsh government policies regarding gender equality and women’s rights.

“Now from my perspective what I want to do is … to be a truly feminist government.
Now we have to live up to that,” Jones said.

In his remaining few months as the first minister, Jones hopes to start changing attitudes surrounding feminism in order for there to be greater equality. He hopes that someday the 8% gender pay gap closes and that the number of women as senior civil servants increases. Additionally, he hopes to someday see more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as shared parental leave.

In his interview, Jones stated that he finds that current narratives about feminism can be problematic: “The very fact that a woman says im proud to be a woman and a feminist, the very fact that that’s seen as radical rather than normal shows how far we’ve got to go.”

Although Jones will be stepping down in December, he has faith that his successor will carry out his commitment and that he hopes to see that the narrative will change in the future.

“I have absolutely no doubt that whoever succeeds me will want to move forward with this,” he said.

He believes that the Welsh Government should act to become the most gender equal country in the world. “We don’t want to imitate other people, we want to go beyond where other countries are at the moment and really drive forward that commitment to ending gender inequality. It’s one of the reasons it brought me into politics,” Jones said.

When asked about his views on gender equality as a young person, Jones stated that he grew up in a family where his parents were both teachers and not one parent was seemingly superior over the other. He shared a short anecdote about his grandmother, explaining how far the Welsh government has come.

Jones’s grandmother told him that when she was 21, all she could do was get married because that’s all the world was for her. “It shows we’ve come a long way, but not far enough,” Jones told BBC.

“There’s a saying in Welsh: ‘Good, but not so good that it can’t be improved on.’ And that’s what we want to do,” Jones said.

Arielle Schwartz

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