The Wonder Women Shortlist - Span Arts
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The Wonder Women Shortlist

This year Span Arts is celebrating 100 years of votes for women with a Wonder Women themed carnival parade. Narberth Civic Week and Span Arts will be taking over the High Street on Saturday 28th July with a spectacular carnival parade led by three giant “Wonder Women” puppets made by local community groups and volunteers.

We asked the people of Pembrokeshire to nominate their top “Wonder Women”, women who have made their mark on the fight for gender equality in some way.  We were bowled over by the response.  Women from Dame  Tanni Grey-Thompson to Emmeline Pankhurst, Beyoncé and Rosa Parks to Gwenllian, fierce Welsh warrior princess were nominated.  Our crack team of local notables including Eluned Morgan AM whittled the long list down to this shortlist of local, national and international “Wonder Women”.

The time has arrived to vote on your “Wonder Women”, women who you’d like to see immortalised as giant procession puppets.   Read more about the nominees below then vote HERE.


International Category

Malala Yousafzai

b:12/07/1997 (20) Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate. She was shot by a Taliban gunman in an assassination attempt in retaliation for her activism and has since been described as ‘the most prominent citizen’ by Pakistani Prime Minister

Maya Angelou 

b: 4/04/1928 d: 28/05/2014 (86) American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Author of ‘ I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’

Frida Kahlo

b:6/07/1907  d: 13/07/1954 (47) Mexican artist who employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society and Kahlo’s work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and Indigenous traditions, and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.

National Category

Barbara Castle

b:6/10/1910 d:3/5/2002 (92) British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament from 1945 to 1979. One of the most significant Labour Party politicians of the 20th century, she served in the Cabinet in a number of roles, including as Secretary of State for Employment and helped make history when she intervened in the Ford sewing machinists’ strike of 1968, which resulted in a pay-rise for Ford’s female workers. The Ford Women’s strike and Barbara’s consequent campaigning led to the Equal Pay Act 1970.

Elizabeth Blackwell

3/02/1821 – 31/05/1910 was a British physician, notable as the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States and the first woman on the Medical Register of the General Medical Council. She was the first woman to graduate from a medical school, a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States, and a social and moral reformer in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Emmeline Pankhurst

b:15/07/1858 d:14/06/1928 British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. Visited Narberth and Haverfordwest during the campaign. She was the founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), an all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to “deeds, not words”

Local (Welsh) Category

Ann Pettitt

Peace Activist – As a young mother bringing up small children on a small holding in Carmarthenshire, Ann Pettitt began a movement that changed the face of modern history. One of the founders of The Women’s Peace Camp at Greenham Common, with 36 women marching 120 miles for 10 days from their homes to the Berkshire airbase in
protest at plans to store cruise missiles. Ann wrote a book about her time at Greenham, also writing on the topics of feminism, sustainable living and Welsh politics for national newspapers, feminist publications, and other magazines.

Tanni Grey-Thompson

26/07/1969 (48) Welsh Paralympian Carys Davina Grey-Thompson’s older sister Sian called her “Tiny” when she was young, and thereafter she became “Tanni”. Grey-Thompson started Wheelchair Racing at 13, and won the Junior National title four years later. Her Paralympic medal haul began at 19, when she won a bronze in the 1988 Seoul Games; she would go on to win 11 golds and 3 silvers, and break 30 world records. A TV presenter, and board member of many sports organisations including the London Marathon and SportsAid, she became an Independent Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords in 2010.


AD100 – 1136 Warrior Princess consort of Deheubarth in Wales, and married to Gruffydd ap Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth. Gwenllian’s “patriotic revolt” and subsequent death in battle at Kidwelly Castle contributed to the Great Revolt of 1136.  There are several notable artistic depictions of Gwenllian, often depicting her with a sword in hand, or riding a chariot into battle in the style of Boudicca.


How can you get involved in Wonder Women?

  • Join a Wonder Women tribe – make your Wonder Women get-up at 2 FREE workshops during Narberth Civic Week (see programme for details) and join the procession on the 28th July, find out more here
  • Do your own thing – get a small group together to join the parade! Make a costume, float, decorated bicycle, pram or buggy inspired by your very own female idol. Arrive at Lansker Stores for the carnival kick-off by 1:30pm on the 28th July and have the chance of winning in one of the carnival categories.

 Women, men, girls and boys are all welcome – this is a celebration for everyone!

Last chance to vote HERE