PEOPLE from across Gwent marked this year’s International Women’s Day with a number of events.
Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, opened Upmarket Galleries’ new exhibition, Dathlu, on Saturday, which showcases the work of 35 female artists.
The event featured a live drawing performance from Marega Palser and a book reading by a local author, Meg Kingston, from her novel, Chrystal Heart.
One of the guests at the gallery was Newport councillor Chris Evans, who called for support for local artists.
He said: “It was a great celebration of International Women’s Day, women’s struggle over the decades. It was very thought-provoking.”
In Pontypool women were invited to workshops to mark the day.
Organised by Torfaen Women’s Aid, the free programme at Pontypool Leisure Centre was split among four workshops: women in business, confidence building, coping with anxiety and getting ready for work.
Deputy director of Torfaen Women’s Aid Penny Chapman said: “For me it was about celebrating women. It’s about equality and celebrating what it is to be a woman.
“I wanted to give them something they could all benefit from.”
The day was also marked with a victims’ charity and Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner coming together to highlight how women and girls can be supported if they are victims of violence or abuse.
Mandy Wilmot, from Victim Support, said Ian Johnston’s Victim’s Charter can play a vital role in supporting the estimated one in four women in Wales who will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
Mr Johnson launched the charter last year and it outlines the minimum standard victims can expect when they are involved in the Gwent criminal justice process.
And Ms Wilmot said the charter ensures victims’ needs are addressed and that they receive the appropriate standard of service.
She said: “International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women’s achievements in all areas of life but it’s also an opportunity for calls to end violence against women and girls.
“It’s vital individuals and organisations use the opportunity to really highlight these issues.”
And Mr Johnston said: “My priority is not only to reduce the number of victims of crime in Gwent, but also to protect victims from serious harm and ensure that improving the way services are delivered to them is at the heart of everything we do.”