As March ushers in Women's History Month and with March 8 marking International Women's Day, The National celebrates just a few of our fantastic female role models.

There are many stories about the boys who have influenced our culture, politics and history - Aneurin Bevan, Dylan Thomas, Tom Jones... to name but a few, but what about about the girls?

1. Elaine Morgan, author

Elaine Morgan is one of the great icons of Welsh literature. She was born in Hopkinstown, near Pontypridd, and lived in Mountain Ash, near Aberdare, for many years until her death.

Seen by many as a Welsh legend, she was one of the most important Welsh writers because she advocated against gender stereotype theories that failed to consider women’s role in evolution. Her work has opened the investigation for scientists to further research female evolution.

2. Ruth Jones, actor and writer

Oh, oh oh! What's occurin'? We all know and love Gavin & Stacey! Jones, born in Bridgend, is arguably the most rememberable figure in the show. More loved then the shows title characters.

Her character, Nessa speaks fluent Welsh and Italian, works at the Barry Island Amusement Arcades and regularly drops into conversation her unusual celebrity experiences. Her character in the show is iconic.

3. Duffy, singer

Mercy and Warwick Avenue are both go-to karaoke crowd pleasers. Aimee Anne Duffy, from Gwynedd, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for Rockferry in 2008.

To this day, Rockferry remains a well-loved album in Wales. When released, it became the best-selling album in the UK that year and was popular worldwide. Duffy's vocal tones range from soul to pop inspire artists across the music sphere.

Even superstar Adele said that "she loves Duffy and thinks that she is amazing," during her acceptance speech at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009.

4. Betty Campbell, teacher

Until 2019, Wales had no statue of a woman. The Hidden Heroines campaign asked the Welsh public to vote for who they wanted as the first, Betty Campbell was crowned champion.  

I was determined that I was going to become one of those people and enhance the black spirit, black culture as much as I could - Betty Campbell

After a trip to America where she learnt about civil rights she was inspired. Campbell became the Wales' first black headteacher in the 1970s. Slavery, black history and the system of apartheid which operated at the time in South Africa were a part of her teachings to students.

Campbell helped to create Black History Month and taught a series of workshops on the role of Butetown's citizens and their countries of origin in the Second World War.

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Credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

5. Laura Ashley, fashion designer and businesswoman

When Laura Mountney met Bernard Ashley after the Second World War, she worked as a secretary, while raising her first two children, and designed napkins part-time. The inspiration for her business venture came from her not being able to find any suitable designs to make patchworks

The couple then built their textile empire with Laura designing the prints and Bernard dealing with the painting equipment.

Sadly, on March 17, 2020, the company filed for administration. However, Laura Ashley will always be a company for the Welsh and British textile industry hall of fame.

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Credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

6. Mary Quant, fashion icon

Since the 60s and beyond Mary Quant, whose parents were from Welsh mining families, has inspired people to dress to please themselves.

Mother of the mini skirt, wet look rainwear and hot pants, anyone who loves fashion knows and adores Quant. Thanks to her, fashion is and always will be a fun game for many people.  In the 1960s and beyond Quant has inspired people to dress to please themselves.

Influential fashion journalist of the 1950s and 60s, Ernestine Carter, said: “It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are three: Chanel, Dior and Mary Quant.”

7. Lucy Thomas, the mother of the Welsh coal industry

When Thomas’ husband, Robert, died in 1833, she took over the running of their coal mine. Back then businesswomen were rare, but widows could acceptably continue their husband's business. Thomas also was illiterate.

By the time she died in 1847, she had increased the worth of the business considerable and had a reputation as a first-rate businessperson.

8. Marina Diamandis, Marina and Marina and the Diamonds, singer,

Electra Heart, Marina's 2012 album, cerified gold in the US and UK, with singles such as How to Be a Heartbreaker and Primadonna becoming well-known internationally. 

Diamandis was born in Brynmawr and raised in Abergavenny.

She is an advocate for equal rights and feminism. In 2015, she was asked, “Aren’t you happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for your husband?” to her previous tweet about “Are you a feminist?”. Her response stuck with many of her fans ever since:

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Credit: Atlantic Records.

9. Margaret Haig Mackworth (nee Thomas), 2nd Viscountess Rhondda

Welsh peeress, businessperson, activist and Wales' most famous suffragette, Mackworth was the director for 33 companies in her lifetime.

She was elected as the Institute of Directors' first female president in 1926. In 2015, the organisation launched the annual Mackworth Lecture was launched in her honour.

In her autobiography, she wrote that her mother had "prayed passionately that her baby daughter might become feminist". Mackworth made headlines for the suggregette cause when she jumped onto the car of then Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's and was jailed for trying to blow up a Royal Mail post box. 

10. Lady Charlotte Guest

Not born in Wales, Lady Charlotte Guest moved to Dowlais with her husband where she became involved in philanthropy, education and social issues.

She learned and embraced the Welsh language and completed a pioneering translation from Welsh of The Mabinogion - the earlies prose stories in British literature dating back to the 12th Century. 

Lady Charlotte became a figure in the study of literature and the wider Welsh Renaissance of the 19th century and was a founder member of the Society of Welsh Scholars.

She took over the running of the Dowlais Ironworks, near Merthyr Tyfil, after her husband's death in 1852.

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Credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

These are just 10 wonderful Welsh women. Who would you like to see on the list? Comment below or tweet us a @nationalwales.