To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, Fay Jones MP celebrates all the incredible women across Brecon and Radnorshire, with special thanks to those who have assisted with the pandemic response.
Women across the United Kingdom have played an integral role in both the community and national response to Covid-19. From Kate Bingham, Chair of the Vaccine Taskforce and Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, to Sharon Hammond, Vice Chairman of Brecon and Radnorshire NFU and Carol Shillabeer, Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health Board – inspirational women have led the way and become role models for the next generation of women and girls across the country.
Without the help of women, from healthcare heroes and teachers to community champions and carers, fighting coronavirus would not have been possible. Huge sacrifices have been made by many, with women across the country adapting to coronavirus restrictions, often while juggling competing responsibilities such as volunteering, caring responsibilities and work.
Research carried out by the UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that in the UK women are about one-third more likely than men to work in a sector that has been heavily affected or entirely shut down due to the pandemic, such as the retail and hospitality industries. That is why in the response to Covid-19, the Government has put in place a £160 billion package to minimise the economic downturn and to protect, support and create as many jobs as possible.
During the first national coronavirus lockdown, around 20% of all offences recorded by police were flagged as domestic abuse related - compared to less than 15% during the same months in previous years. Charities dealing with domestic abuse have also reported a surge in appeals for help since the start of the pandemic. More than 40,000 calls and contacts, mainly from women, were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first lockdown, nearly 80% higher than usual. In response, the UK Government has increased funding for Domestic Abuse services in Wales and England, providing an extra £40m to protect families and many vulnerable women across the country.
Miss Jones remains committed to ensuring that women across the United Kingdom are safe from violence, can succeed in every walk of life, and feel empowered to reach their full potential - in the workplace, in business and in politics. Every woman should be able to build a life and legacy they are proud of.
Fay Jones, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire said:
“On International Women’s Day, we have an opportunity to celebrate women trailblazers, the contribution women make to our communities and the brilliant women in each of our lives.
“This year, I want to say thank you to the women who have played an incredibly important part in the response to Covid-19 – from NHS workers and Armed Forces personnel, to those caring for loved ones, neighbours and even complete strangers in the community.
We must recognise that our fight for gender equality is not yet over. Many women across the country have been impacted by the extra burdens that the pandemic has created, and we must support them through these difficult times, while building a better and fairer future for women.”
Pictured are the first ever Welsh Conservative women Members of Parliament. From left to right: Fay Jones MP, Virginia Crosbie MP and Sarah Atherton MP.