Female leaders

Don't trust the parties on gender equity

The results for Election 2016 in Scotland show how we cannot rely on parties to give effect to the change required to create a balanced form of democracy:

TORY gains cost Scotland the chance to get more women into parliament, experts said yesterday.
While women head the country’s three biggest parties, and the Green leadership team is gender-balanced, the level of women elected on Thursday showed no change on 2011.
Just 45 of Scotland’s new MSPs are women – compared with 84 men. Despite making up around 51 per cent of the population, the Holyrood rate is a mere 34.8 per cent.


Scottish election shows some gains but unimpressive gender representation for women

A report on the success of some YES campaigners promoting women in parliament in the Scottish election 2016. 

Three members of Women for Independence will boost parliament's unimpressive gender representation.
Several prominent yes campaigners have been elected to the Scottish parliament, though new alliance Rise failed to win any seats
Prominent figures from the broad 'yes' campaign, including Scottish Greens and Women for Independence (WfI) members, have been elected as MSPs in yesterday's Holyrood election. 

Not just a question of leaders

Hugh MacDonald: Our leaders may be female but we still need more women in politics

 APRIL 30TH, 2016 - 12:01 AM  HUGH MACDONALD

"This almost primitive political power of women has been transformed in the century since suffrage and has reached a rarefied level in Scottish politics. The power of women in this country is now such that the three leading parties have women leaders in Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), Kezia Dugdale (Labour) and Ruth Davidson (Conservative). This is not a blip or even a curiosity but part of a distinctive trend. The previous Conservative leader in Scotland was Annabel Goldie. The previous Labour leader was Johann Lamont. Sturgeon comes from an SNP tradition that has as its most famous standard bearers the groundbreaker Winnie Ewing and the late and inspirational Margo MacDonald.

So are there reasons why women play such a strong role in Scottish politics, certainly at the top? Is our nation at the forefront of a march towards a system that will reflect gender at least 50-50? And as we approach the Holyrood elections what is the outlook for women in the Scottish political system?

There is, apparently, something in the notion that culture plays a part. Dr Meryl Kenny, lecturer in gender and politics at the University of Edinburgh, points out: “You are seeing a lot of women making that transition from the ‘small p’ politics to become involved in family issues, local organisations and then to running for office. Women for Independence has facilitated that.”