MORE than 50 pupils from a Barry secondary school have taken part in an event to celebrate and recognise the importance of International Women’s Day this year. (March 8)

Pencoedtre High School took hosted the event which was led by community campaigner, Belinda Loveluck-Edwards.

The event was supported by panellists Abi Reader, a Wenvoe dairy farmer, Charlotte Archibald, campaign lead for the Welsh Women’s Aid Time’s Up project and Amy Greenfield, co-founder of Awesome Wales, Barry’s zero waste store.

The panel discussed, with the pupils, their work, what inspired them to be in that particular field and what one piece of advice they would give to their 13-year-old self right now.

This led to a discussion on kindness, moving on from mistakes, and that speaking up against any form of injustice is a positive thing.

Ms Archibald said that as a young girl she had spoken out about the injustice she faced and turned that anger into pushing for positive change.

Ms Greenfield was pleased to see a number of pupils had visited her store and she told the group why she was passionate about reducing waste and ending the use of unnecessary plastic.

Ms Reader invited pupils to visit her farm and learn more about what it is like to own and run your own business in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The event included some group work on gender bias and how certain roles in fields such as engineering and IT are still deemed to be male dominated whilst caring and support roles are too often viewed as the best roles for women.

The pupils also looked at the importance of language.

After the event, Mrs Loveluck-Edwards stated that she was impressed by the levels of understanding the year 9 pupils had and they had put forward some interesting points to remove bias in their community.

Pencoedtre High School head teacher, Tyrone Davies said he was pleased to host an event which allowed pupils to debate issues that were important to them and to build links to local businesswomen to inspire future leaders across the Vale.