Leader urges people to vote for a "hidden heroine"

Posted on Wednesday 9th January 2019

Five influential Welsh women, including one from Newport, have been shortlisted for an artwork to be placed outside BBC Wales' new headquarters.

The first statue of a named woman "forgotten to history" in Cardiff will be decided by a public vote.

Suffragette Lady Rhondda, who had long connections with Newport, is one of the selected women, along with Elizabeth Andrews, Elaine Morgan, Betty Campbell and Cranogwen.

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, the first female leader of Newport City Council and the Welsh Local Government Association, said: "All five women deserve to be recognised for their achievements and contributions to Wales.

"Only one can be represented by this new artwork and I would encourage people to vote for Newport's heroine Lady Rhondda, Margaret Haig Thomas. As well as being a key player in the movement for women's votes in the early 20th century, she also campaigned for the right of women to sit in the House of Lords and was a director on a number of company boards.

"However, I'm sure, given her fight for the vote, that she would join me in urging people to take part in the vote whoever they decide to support."

Lady Rhondda was born in London but came to Newport as a child until the age of 13 when she went away to boarding school. She later married a Newport landowner and became secretary of the Newport branch of the Women's Social and Political Union. After a full and interesting life, she died in London aged 75.

Find out more about the five women on the shortlist and how to vote at

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