WORCESTER, England, June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Leading national women's organisation, Townswomen's Guilds, brings 2,000 members, guilds, federations and trustees to Cardiff for an inspirational Annual General Meeting.
The 2014 AGM was spectacular, showcasing what a resurgent TG is all about: uniting women across the UK by giving them a voice regarding current issues affecting women, encouraging them to 'get involved'.
St David's Hall, Cardiff, was abuzz yesterday (Wednesday 18th June) with two inspirational mandate debates forming the backbone of the day. Celebrating its 85th year, TG, with its 700 branches, is still close to its suffragist campaigning roots. With the aim of raising the profile of key issues, two mandates were proposed for debate, chosen for the impact they are having on women's lives. Both of this year's subjects stimulated passionate debate.
Mandate Number 1, 'Votes at Sixteen', is a key issue for young women seeking a platform for their views. Speaking for the motion was Dom Anderson, NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship), whilst Professor Andrew Russell, Head of Politics at the University of Manchester, was the speaker against the motion. The result of the vote was a majority against supporting a change in legislation, not allowing votes at sixteen.
Mandate Number 2 concerned Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This vital debate concerns this still widespread practise, blighting young women's lives. In England and Wales an estimated 23,000 girls under the age of 15 years could be at risk of FGM each year and nearly 66,000 women are living with its consequences*. The key speaker on this topic was Helida Ramoqi, Director South West and Mid Wales for BAWSO (Black Association of Women Step Out). The result of the vote was in favour of TG continuing to campaign for current legislation to be more actively enforced, prosecuting those who facilitate FGM.
Margaret Key, National Chairman of TG said, "Our AGM is always well attended and enjoyed by our members who travel from all parts of the UK. On behalf of our members I would like to thank The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Margaret Jones for her Civic Welcome. It was also an honour to welcome the Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science of the Welsh Assembly, Edwina Hart, who made time in her busy schedule to join us and address the members.
"Every year there are new faces, and we all take pride in being a part of this empowering community. It is an amazing organisation and we take every opportunity to encourage women to join us - why not try something new, making new friends and learning new skills along the way? You can find your local guild through our website and you will be welcome at any local guild meeting.
"We are extremely proud of our existing members who are our best recruitment tool. We want everyone to know what we're all about and why we're so proud to be TG."
* (Dorkenoo et al, 2007)
SOURCE Townswomen’s Guilds