A new public exhibition: Swansea Women: “Because They’re Worth It” has been opened at Swansea University library to celebrate the lives and achievements of successful female graduates- from the early days of Swansea University in the1920s to the present day.

The exhibition marks International Women’s Day and will run until early April, with sponsorship from the University’s Centre for Research into Gender in Culture and Society (GENCAS).

Amongst the graduates featured are politicians Siân James and Sylvia Heal, Mary Williams, (the first female professor in Britain), writer and broadcaster Mavis Nicholson, Olympic swimming hopeful Jazmin Carlin, TV journalist Penny Roberts, and Emily Dix, who was a leading palaeontologist and who received an MSc in 1926 for her work on the stratification of the Gwendraeth valley coal-field.

Emily Dix undertaking research of the South Wales coalfields

Dr Liz Herbert McAvoy of the University’s College of Arts and Humanities said: “This exhibition was prompted by the frequent invisibility of successful Swansea women graduates, both on campus and beyond and the general lack of importance historically attributed to female academic and professional achievement.

“It is clear, however, that women have always played a major part in the development of the University, helping to shape its life, as well as influencing those changing cultures beyond its walls. It is therefore about time that their contributions were made visible to our current and future student body, especially to our young women, who may sometimes find a lack of female role models to which to aspire.”

The official opening takes place at Swansea University Library today at 6.30pm. The exhibition will be open to the wider public from March 9th.

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