Juliet Swann talks of measures that have led to improvements in women's representation:
Before this election, the only party using positive measures to achieve gender balance in every selection process was the Scottish Green Party. Labour’s 1999 efforts had been allowed to wither and the SNP, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were sticking with “soft” measures such as mentoring. But Nicola Sturgeon and Labour leader Kezia Dugdale made positive measures part of the 2016 selection process. The constituencies of retiring SNP MSPs were all subject to all-women shortlists.
Juliet Swann says that these measures have led to real change but that some are reluctant to take such action:
The Conservatives have consistently opposed positive measures to achieve gender balance, and it shows in their candidates. In Highlands and Islands they have an all-male slate in the constituencies and on the regional list. In the North East their two women candidates are at seven and nine. In West Scotland they have a female in 10th place, and the second-placed woman behind Ruth Davidson in Lothian is ninth.