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Young women encouraged to get into politics in Wales

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Young women from across Wales have come to the Senedd to learn about the inner workings of Welsh politics.

The 21 women have been selected to shadow Welsh Assembly Members as part of a scheme called #LeadHerShip. Organisers said the aim is to inspire a future generation of female leaders.

The aim is to give young women a real insight into the political opportunities available to them and to inspire a future generation of female leaders.

It will offer young women in Wales a unique chance to get first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a politician as well as to learn more about the inner workings of the Senedd. We want to show young women in Wales that they can get their voices heard and play an important role in shaping the future.

– Natasha Davies, Policy and Research Lead at Chwarae Teg
Assembly Members have been encouraging young women to get into politics. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales
28%
of Welsh MPs and Councillors are women.
47%
of Welsh Assembly Members are women.

Tahiya Haque, 17, from Cardiff said she would like to become an Assembly Member.

Being an Assembly Member, it's not something where you're restricted to being in the office all the time, you actually get to go out an talk to people in the community, the people that you represent. It's being able to voice your opinions, I think politics is the platform for that.

– Tahiya Haque, Participant
Tahiya has been shadowing Huw Irranca-Davies AM. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

We still have here in this chamber, the most gender representative Assembly in probably the whole of Western Europe, that's something to be excited about.

– Huw Irranca-Davies AM, Ogmore, Labour

If Tahiya landed a top job, one of the first things she would want to focus on is mental health.

It really is affecting young people and again as younger people of the future generations I think we really need to start addressing that issue and learn how to move forward from that and how to solve it.

– Tahiya Haque, Participant
Tahiya is interested in helping improve mental health issues in young people. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Another participant, Giezl Hernandez, 18, from Swansea, said she is drawn into politics because of the ability to create "drastic change for the good of the world".

Getting to shadow Julie James has given me an eye-opening experience and now I'm so interested in seeing the diversity of politics...

Whether it's through female empowerment, girls supporting girls, or even just representing ethnic minorities - I feel like that's very unrepresented in politics and I'd like to change that.

– Giezl Hernandez, Participant
Giezl has been inspired to work in politics in the future. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Female politicians can face many challenges but Suzy Davies AM said the situation is improving.

We know about things like trolling on social media... Women may have a general lack in confidence which partly comes from seeing a lot of men in these roles but as I say that's changing, events like this make a big difference and some of the barriers - things like childcare and caring for other family members - it's about encouraging ways for politicians to make sure those barriers are smaller.

– Suzy Davies AM, South Wales West, Conservative