December's women-only screening!

We're delighted to be partnering WOMEN'S EQUALITY NETWORK WALES for our final event of 2016!

Join us on Monday 12th December for a women's screening of one of THE standout out films of 2014 - 'GIRLHOOD'. Delicious lunch included in the ticket!

GIRLHOOD (15) (French, with English subtitles)
With an abusive family situation, lack of school prospects, and the “boys’ law” in her neighbourhood, Marieme tries to start a new life when her home life becomes unbearable. But it’s not easy growing up in the projects, outside of Paris. This is not just a coming-of-age story, but a film about the life of under-educated, black, working class girls at the bottom rung of every social and economic ladder.

After the film WEN Wales will talk about work being done to support girls’ rights in Wales.
10am, Monday 12th December
56 Machen Place, Riverside, Cardiff CF11 6EQ 

TICKETS £3.50 / £5.50 
Free tickets for asylum seekers
Free creche available - please book in advance

Ring Rajma on 07552 617321
Or email


Megan Evans and Ann Lukens are currently serving as consultant interim directors.

An Introduction to Public Bodies in Wales

Leighton Jones from the Public Appointments Unit in the Office of the First Minister and Cabinet Office at the Welsh Government provides information about public bodies and public appointments in Wales.

There have always been public appointments of one kind or another, but in 1995, the Nolan Committee made a series of recommendations intended to increase public confidence in the way in which appointments to public bodies are made. The principal recommendation was that an independent Commissioner should be appointed. This Commissioner’s role was to establish a Code of Practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies, and monitor the process to ensure those appointments are made on merit after fair and open competition. This role is known as the Commissioner for Public Appointments and is supported by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

The current Commissioner for England and Wales is Sir David Normington.  Sir David oversees all regulated appointments made by the Welsh Government. Unregulated appointments are overseen by the Welsh Government itself.

Throughout Wales committees are set up to offer independent advice on the public services that affect us every day. These committees, known as Public Bodies, provide advice to the Welsh Government on a range of subjects including sports, arts, culture, education, health services, environment and tourism. Several hundred individuals sit on these committees.

Our public bodies need board members who reflect Welsh society - people from all walks of life. Public appointments are usually for members of committees which advise, monitor and take decisions on public services across Wales, both locally and nationally

You could help run these organisations and offer advice, drawing on your own experience. Some positions are unpaid, but most will cover your expenses.

We believe public bodies should have board members who reflect Welsh society - people from all walks of life - to help them understand people's needs and make better decisions.

That is why the Welsh Government is committed to increasing diversity and encourages applications from women and other under represented groups.

The public appointments page on the Welsh Government website can be found here :

A list of current vacancies can be found here :

'Be the Difference' Information Guides

Applying for an unknown position can be a daunting experience, especially when it is difficult to find straightforward information about the role.

Women Making a Difference has compiled a series of ‘Be the Difference’ information guides that will hopefully be useful and provide you with everything you need to know before you take the first step into public life. Each week for the next six weeks we will launch a new guide.

Download the 'Be the Difference' Charity Trustee Information Guide here

Download the 'Be the Difference' Magistrate Information Guide here

Download the 'Be the Difference' School Governor Information Guide here

Download the 'Be the Difference' Town or Community Councillor Information Guide here

Download the Be the Difference' County Borough Councillor Information Guide here

Download the 'Be the Difference' Social Services Citizens Panel Member Information Guide here

Bringing equality to public life: 3 ways to break down barriers

Bringing equality to public life 1

The National Assembly for Wales was once the world leader for gender equality in public life. The 2003 Assembly elections ended male dominance in Wales’ corridors of power for the first time. But those benefits were not felt across all levels of public life. The Senedd's glass ceiling has been repaired. Sadly, many projections see equality only getting worse after the 2016 Assembly elections.

Underrepresented groups in public life -- women being the largest -- need support to develop the skills, knowledge and mind-set to lead in their communities and beyond. They also need help.

Those who reach the upper echelons of public life have gone on a journey. They have started in their communities, perhaps running campaigns to save a library. They have volunteered as school governors or trustees. They have served as councillors for their communities and counties. This is where we must start when we aim to broaden the pipeline of talent appointed to our boards and elected to our halls of power.

Here are three ways Wales can open the doors to public life and encourage a more diverse group of tomorrow’s leaders:

1. Opportunities at every level of public life should be explained, advertised and the processes for selection made transparent. Whilst great effort has gone into achieving this at a national level, not enough work has been done within communities. Too many local roles go unknown to qualified and diverse groups of people simply because they do not know the opportunities exist. If they do know, the roles are often explained with jargon and seem out of reach. Yet roles, such as school governors, magistrates, NHS community health councils, and charity trustee boards are the roles where many of our future leaders get their start in public life.

Welsh Government, local authorities, magistrates and third sector organisations must make sure they tap on the shoulder of the public, not only of their friends and acquaintances.

2. Employers should use opportunities in public life to develop and engage their workforce. Simply by serving as a school governor, local charity trustee or standing in a local election, employees can build bigger networks, understand different sectors and gain new skills. Not only does this contribute greatly to the work environment but also enables individuals to play a more active role as citizens in their wider community. By supporting staff to access these opportunities, staff will grow and develop in both the workplace and in public life.

This is an investment in a better workforce and a better Wales.

3. Men must make a difference to reach equality in public life. With too few women in public life, the majority must take a conscious lead to encourage and help more women to join the boards, councils, Assembly and Parliaments. This starts with encouragement. Not enough women consider entering public life simply because they’re not encouraged to consider it. Men must reach further to mentor -- and even sponsor -- women in order to bring balance to power.

Above all, there must be a conscious effort to create a diverse group of gender-balanced candidates for appointed and elected roles in public life.

Do you want to be part of our manifesto to bring equality to public life?

Get in touch. Women Making a Difference is already breaking down barriers through its work. But it isn't enough. We need your support.

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