Month: October 2014

Women 5050’s Response to the Smith Commission

Women 5050 have responded to the Smith Commission recommending that further powers be devolved to allow Scotland to legislate for quotas to allow fair representation of women in the Scottish Parliament, in Councils and on public boards.

You can read the full response here;  women 5050 smith response

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Angela Constance latest MSP to back Women 5050

Angela Constance of the SNP, is the latest MSP to back the call for 50% representation of women, below is her press statement and you can join her by signing up to support us here

Angela Constance backs women to succeed.

Angela Constance has signed up for the Women 50:50 Campaign.

“Barriers to women in politics should be consigned to the wheelie bin of outdated attitudes”

“For the first time ever in the long, somewhat interrupted, history of the Scottish Parliament, we are on the verge of seeing a woman elected to the position of First Minister. Not only that, but each of the three main parties in our parliament will be led by women. That is a first, not just for Scotland, but for the United Kingdom.

Nevertheless, women are still widely under-represented in the institutions and organisations to which we entrust the running of our society. They are under-represented in the boardrooms of business and in the leadership of trades unions. This is not a peculiarly Scottish phenomenon – it is recognised throughout Europe as something that should be remedied.

It should be remedied, not simply because it is desirable from an equality perspective, but because a failure to deploy the talents and perceptions of as many women as possible represents a potential weakness in our drive to create a fairer, happier, more prosperous society. To give a practical example – a study of US ‘Fortune 500’ companies [1] found that those with the highest representation of women board directors attained significantly higher financial performance, on average, than those with the lowest representation of women board directors,

It is foolish not to seek the added performance that women can bring as widely as possible throughout society.

This is why I am giving my support to the Women 50:50 campaign. The 50:50 campaign is an EU-wide drive to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men.  The recent elections to the European Parliament saw only a 1.5% increase in the number of MEPs [2] – at that rate it will take half a century for women and men to be equally represented.

Scotland, with 35% women MSPs is doing better than Westminster (23%) [3]. But there is still a deficit to make up. And that parliamentary deficit is reflected in our wider society.

In recent weeks, the SNP has attracted tens of thousands of new members, half of them women. We must ensure their voice is heard, equally with men. I have already made crystal clear my commitment to equality of membership and the fullest possible participation of members in policy decisions.

But I am not blind to the barriers that continue to exist for women in politics. If elected depute leader, I shall strive to overthrow those barriers so that inside the SNP, at least, they are consigned to the wheelie bin of outdated attitudes, where I believe they belong.”

ENDS.

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Political parties make first response to Smith Commission

Today all Scottish political parties published their first response to the Smith Commission on further devolved powers to Scotland

We welcome the references to creating fair representation for women in some of the responses. However we would like to see a stronger commitment as the process continues. Women 5050 will be submitting its own response which will call specifically for the devolution of electoral laws to allow for the legislation and delivery of legal quotas in the Scottish Parliament.

You can read the political party responses below:

Scottish National Party

Scottish Labour Party

Scottish Green Party

Scottish Conservatives

Scottish Liberal Democrats

You can also submit your own response to the Smith Commission. The use of parliamentary quotas and temporary special measures in the Scottish Parliament is currently reserved to Westminster, under the provision on political parties in the Scotland Act 1998. We would welcome our supporters sending in a response to devolve the ability to create quotas for a fairer parliament.

You can send submission to haveyoursay@smith-commission.scot 

If you do submit a response, can you please send us a copy, to scottishwomen5050@gmail.com

Thank you