Cowshed and Women’s Equality Network Wales reveal the 100 Welsh women list 

Home  |  Sidearea   |  Blog   |  Cowshed and Women’s Equality Network Wales reveal the 100 Welsh women list 

Cowshed and Women’s Equality Network Wales reveal the 100 Welsh women list 


Sculpting 100 years of women in Welsh history

Today (Tuesday 8th May), Women’s Equality Network (WEN) Wales revealed its list of 100 Welsh Women – one of whom will be immortalised as the first outdoor historical statue in central Cardiff later this year.

To mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, WEN has selected 50 women from the past who made a big impact on Welsh life and 50 inspiring women currently shaping Wales to recognise their contribution to our national life.

Descendants of the monumental women from the past and living nominees were given exclusive access to The Siambr, the debating chamber at the heart of the Senedd to launch the 100.

 From the first Welsh female MP, suffragettes, anti-slavery campaigners, poets and medical pioneers, the shortlist includes women who have made waves in arts, business, education, politics, social reform, public services, sport, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

One of the historical women listed is Lady Rhondda, Margaret Haig Thomas, born in 1883, a suffragette, businesswoman, the first woman president of the Institute of Directors and one of the most prominent British feminists of her time.

Lady Rhondda’s relative Anne Eliza Cottington attended the launch, she said: “Lady Rhondda was brought up in a family of strong independent women. Her mother Sybil and aunt Janetta, my great grandmother, and cousin Florence were all active supporters of the Women’s Movement and inspired Margaret to fight for change.

“Despite being unsuccessful in her campaign to take a seat in the House of Lords she continued to promote the liberation of women. I’m sure she would be thrilled to be featured as part of this list and would be keen to promote the work the other women on the list have achieved.”


One of the living nominees, named for her continued services to performing arts, charities and raising the profile of Wales across the world, is singer Dame Shirley Bassey (DBE), she said: “I am truly honoured to have been included in the list of 100 Welsh Women, surrounded by so many inspirational women from across Wales who have all achieved something incredible. I’m extremely proud of my Welsh heritage and this list proves the impact Welsh women have made and continue to make not just in our nation, but internationally.”

Catherine Fookes, Director of WEN Wales said: “Our 100 Welsh women have made great contributions to politics, language, culture and industry in Wales. There are some well-known figures on the list, but it’s likely there are some names that people don’t know as we want to celebrate unsung heroes too. We hope the 100 will inspire people to learn more about these women and how they have shaped our history and be role models for today’s young women.

“We want to encourage more conversations around the impact women have had on shaping the nation, not just in this centenary year but moving into the next hundred years.”

In September, 50 of the historical women will be whittled down to five by a panel and put to public vote to decide which of the legendary women will be cast in iron on Central Square in Cardiff.

Helen Molyneux, Entrepreneur and member of the Monumental Welsh Women group, added: ‘The drive to erect statues of ‘real’ women is not just about celebrating individual women, so much as normalising the achievements and successes of women,Men who do great things get statues.  Women should be afforded the same acknowledgement.  The more statues there are, the less extraordinary they become.”

Leader of the House and Chief Whip Julie James said:

“For far too long, the women of Wales have been almost invisible in our history. This project will begin to change that. The 100 women have all got truly inspirational stories and made a valuable and positive contribution to Wales. They are role models to us all – today and for the future.”

To find out more information on each of the women featured on the 100 Welsh Women list, visit 100WelshWomen.walesit features illustrations of the women created by students at the University of South Wales.

The 100


  1. Dame Shirley Bassey DBE, singer and charity worker (1937-present)
  2. Kate Bosse-Griffiths, Egyptologist and writer (1910-1998)
  3. Brenda Chamberlain, artist, poet and novelist (1912-1971)
  4. Charlotte Church, Singer-songwriter, TV presenter and activist (1986-present)
  5. Gillian Clarke, poet, playwright, broadcaster and lecturer (1937-present)
  6. Gwendoline Davies and Margaret Davies, philanthropists and art collectors (1882-1951) (1884-1963)
  7. Mary Dillwyn, Wales’s first woman photographer (1816-1906)
  8. Dilys Elwyn-Edwards, Welsh language composer, lecturer and accompanist (1918-2012)
  9. Rebecca Evans, opera singer (1976-present)
  10. Ann Griffiths, prominent Welsh hymn-writer (1776-1805)
  11. Charlotte Guest, philanthropist, industrialist and translator of the Mabinogion (1812-1895)
  12. Eirwen Gwynn, writer and Welsh nationalist, (1916-2007)
  13. Augusta Hall, Lady Llanover, patron of Welsh arts and inventor of national costume (1802-1896)
  14. Gwen John, artist best known for her portraits of anonymous women (1876-1939)
  15. Cerys Matthews, singer-songwriter, author and broadcaster (1969-present)
  16. Jan Morris, Welsh transgender author, travel writer and historian (1926-present)
  17. Mavis Nicholson, writer, TV and radio presenter (1930-present)
  18. Rungano Nyoni, award-winning film director (1982-present)
  19. Tessie O’shea, entertainer and actress (1913-1995)
  20. Eluned Phillips, poet and twice winner of the Bardic crown (1914-2009)
  21. Siân Phillips, actor, author and singer (1933-present)
  22. Kate Roberts, renowned Welsh writer and Welsh nationalist (1891-1985)
  23. Rachel Thomas OBE, award winning actress (1905-1995)
  24. Catherine Zeta-Jones CBE, actress and first Welsh woman to win an Oscar



  1. Laura Ashley, designer and businesswoman (1925-1985)
  2. Anna Bastek, Founder and CEO of international translation company Wolfestone (1980-present)
  3. Dame Nicola Davies DBE, first Welsh female QC and first Welsh female High Court Judge (1953-present)
  4. Amy Dillwyn, novelist and businesswoman (1845-1935)
  5. Rachael Flanagan, founder and CEO of Mrs Bucket Cleaning Company (1987-present)
  6. Angela Gidden MBE, furniture designer (1960-present)
  7. Honno, Welsh Women’s Press, publishers of books relevant to women in English and Welsh
  8. Martha Musonza Holman, founder of Love Zimbabwe charity and Love Zimbabwe CIC
  9. Cynthia Ogbonna, first female managing director of Cardiff Bus (1962-present)
  10. Hayley Parsons, founder of Go Compare and entrepreneur (1973-present)
  11. Joanna Penberthy, first female bishop in Wales
  12. Dilys Price, world record sky-diver and founder of Touch Trust
  13. Rachel Rowlands, founder of Rachel’s Organic Dairy Products (1982-present)
  14. Heather Stevens, chair of the Waterloo Foundation, philanthropist and former High Sheriff of South Glamorgan (1958-present)
  15. Laura Tenison, founder of Jojo Maman Bébé (1966-present)
  16. Lucy Thomas, ‘mother of the Welsh-steam coal trade’ and businesswoman (1781-1847)
  17. Agnes Twiston Hughes, first female solicitor to qualify in Wales (1895-1981)
  18. Rachel Williams, ambassador for “Children Matter” Welsh Women’s Aid
  19. Susan Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion potter and businesswoman (1918-2007)



  1. Deirdre Beddoe – of Women’s History at Uni of Glamorgan and co-founder of Women’s Archive Wales
  2. Bridget Bevan ‘Madam Bevan’, philanthropist and education pioneer (1698-1779)
  3. Rachel Sheldon Bromwich, Welsh culture and language scholar(1915-2010)
  4. Betty Campbell, first black head teacher in Wales and activist (1935-2017)
  5. Rose Crawshay, suffragette and campaigner for education for girls (1828-1907)
  6. Hester Mackenzie – First femaleprofessor in Wales (1863-1942)
  7. Ursula Masson – Lecturer in History at University of Glamorgan and co-founder of Women’s Archive Wales (1945-2008)
  8. Emily Frost Phipps, barrister, teacher and president of Federation of Women Teachers (1865-1943)
  9. Sarah Jane Rees “Cranogwen”, teacher, poet, editor, Temperance Union campaigner and mariner (1839-1916)
  10. Linda Tomos, Chief Executive and librarian, National Library of Wales
  11. Lady Danusia Trotman-Dickenson, Emeritus Professor of Economics
  12. Audrey Williams, Teacher, archaeologist and first female president of RISW(1902-1978)


Politics, social reform, public services

  1. Elizabeth Andrews, teacher, Labour’s first woman organiser for Wales and councillor (1882-1960)
  2. Joan Coke, female police constable (1914-1988)
  3. Winifred Coombe Tennant, suffragette, politician and patron of Welsh art (1874-1956)
  4. Rose Davies, feminist, Labour activist, teacher and councillor (1882-1958)
  5. Jessie Donaldson, anti-slavery campaigner (1799-1889)
  6. Val Feld, Founder of Welsh Housing Aid (Shelter Cymru) and Welsh Assembly Member (1947-2001)
  7. Sian James, female rights campaigner, first woman MP for Swansea East and activist during miners’ strike
  8. Audrey Jones, teacher and founding member Welsh Assembly of Women (1930-2014)
  9. Gaynor Legall, first BME woman councillor in Wales and ethnic-minority advocate
  10. Megan Lloyd-George, First Welsh female MP in Wales (1902-1966)
  11. Rachel Lomax – Economist, banker, former Permanent Secretary Welsh Office and former Deputy Governor of theBank of England
  12. Lady Rhondda (Margaret Haig Thomas aka Margaret Mackworth), suffragette, businesswoman, author, publisher and editor (1883-1958)
  13. Gwenllian Morgan, first woman mayor in Wales (1852-1939)
  14. Ann Pettitt, peace activist
  15. Annie Powell, teacher, councillor, mayor (1906-1986)
  16. Charlotte Price-White, teacher and suffragist
  17. Dorothy Rees, teacher and first woman MP in south Wales (1898-1987)
  18. Eirene Lloyd white, political journalist, politician and Welsh office minister (1909-1999)
  19. Kirsty Williams, former leader of Welsh Liberal Democrats and Education Secretary
  20. Cecily Williams-Ellis, founding member of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) (1900-1992)
  21. Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru



  1. Nicole Cooke, cyclist and former Olympic and World Champion
  2. Anne Ellis OBE, former GB and Welsh hockey captain and former Wales and GB coach
  3. Tanni Grey-Thompson, Paralympian, winner of 16 medals, TV presenter and crossbench peer
  4. Jade Jones, Taekwondo athlete and 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist
  5. Valerie Latham, swimmer and winner of two bronze medals at 1932 Los Angeles Olympics (1912-2001)
  6. Hannah Mills, competitive sailor and 2016 Olympic gold medallist
  7. Sheila Morrow, former GB hockey international, captain and chair of GB hockey
  8. Irene Steer, swimmer and first Welsh woman to become an Olympic gold medallist (1889-1977)
  9. Kirsty Wade, middle-distance runner and three times commonwealth gold medallist



  1. Elizabeth ‘Betsi’ Cadwaladr, nurse and author (1789-1860)
  2. Ilora Finlay, baroness Finlay of Llandaff, professor of palliative medicine and independent crossbench peer
  3. Haley Gomez, Professor of Astrophysics
  4. Frances Hoggan, first Welsh woman physician, social reformer and education campaigner (1843-1927)
  5. Karen M Holford, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University
  6. Hilary Lappin-Scott, Professor of Microbiology and Senior Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University
  7. Elaine Morgan, author, scriptwriter and anthropologist (1920-2013)
  8. Tavi Murray, Professor of Glaciology and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University
  9. Trudy Norris-Grey, General manager, Microsoft and chair of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering)
  10. Emily Penn, sailor, artist and co-founder of Expedition
  11. Mair Russell-Jones, enigma codebreaker at Bletchley Park (1917-2013)
  12. Meena Upadhyay OBE – Distinguished Prof. (hon) at Cardiff University, medical geneticists
  13. Julie Williams – Professor of Neuropsychological Sciences, senior figure in field of Alzheimer’s
  14. Olwen Williams, consultant of genitourinary/HIV medicine
  • Mary Wynn Warner, mathematician (1932-1998)

Cowshed works with Public Health Wales to announce latest obesity figures


Cowshed and FOR Cardiff launch campaign to promote Cardiff as the City of Arcades