Another review of the miserable outcome on women's representation following the election in Scotland:
This is the fifth Scottish Parliament election where we have seen the same patterns – some parties taking women’s representation seriously, while others continue to be laggards. Without active intervention across the board, gains will remain slow and incremental at best, and are unlikely to cross even the 40 per cent threshold almost achieved over a decade ago. Increasingly, the call in Scotland, backed by a large body of international evidence, is for tough action in the form of legislative quotas that require all parties to take action on women’s representation.
As the influential cross-party campaign group Women 50:50 tweeted in the election aftermath, the change in women’s representation in 2016 has been ‘nil, nada, zilch... We have yet another parliament which fails to fully represent women in Scotland.’ If gender equality is something we take seriously as a society it can no longer be left to the discretion of political parties. For real and lasting progress, warm words must be backed up with statutory measures to embed equality in our political institutions. The time is now.
The inescapable conclusion is that Scotland cannot rely on the parties for change. Nor can we rely on party processes in Australia. 'Warm words' must be replaced by 'statutory measures'. The democracy5050 model assures gender equity in a truly democratic fashion. It is the revolution we have to have.