Month: November 2014

Are we a step closer?

Two exciting things happened with the campaign this week!

1. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, stated she support the campaign during a live Q&A on Facebook;

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Time for some champagne?

2. The Smith Commission announcement of further devolved power,  included the devolution of elections.

So we will have the powers to implement quotas and a First Minister who is happy to support the campaign. By 2020 we could have a very different (equal) looking parliament.

Thank you to all of the amazing supporters and the over 600 public pledges we have had! LET’S KEEP GOING!

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PRESS RELEASE: Today’s legislative programme gender pledge

PRESS RELEASE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Women 5050 welcome the 5050 by 2020 pledge, but change starts from within.

The First Minister’s pledge today of a 50/50 gender equality split by 2020 on public, private and third sector boards, has been warmly welcomed by women 5050, the campaign for 50% representation of women in councils, in Scottish Parliament and on public boards. But emphasise, that encouragement of the pledge will only be taken seriously if the parliament pushing it reflects the same ideals and encouraged Nicola Sturgeon to sign up to the campaign.

Talat Yaqoob, feminist activist and steering group member for Women 5050 said:

“it’s clear that the First Minister takes women’s representation seriously, the pledge is of course, an illustration of that, however there is a difference in a pledge and taking direct action. The Women 5050 campaign is seeking change across Scotland’s public life, that must include the Scottish Government and our council chambers, let’s lead by example. Seeing the First Minister support women 5050 would be a sure sign of the commitment to gender equality”.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green Party MSP said:

“We should applaud the First Minister on setting this challenge to the private, public and third sector boards in Scotland. We should now set the same challenge to national and local government representation.”

“In creating a fair gender split, we have to practice what we preach and set ourselves the same challenge at all levels of representation. This is a first step and the next is signing up to the Women 5050 campaign.”

…ends

Press Release: A 50/50 cabinet is a great first step

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; MONDAY 24TH NOVEMBER

Women 5050 welcomes the 50/50 cabinet, but it’s only the first step

Women 5050, the cross party campaign group pushing for 50% quotas for women in parliament, councils and public boards, welcomes Nicola Sturgeon’s gender equal cabinet, who today are meeting for the first time. The campaign group stated that the new First Minister has illustrated that progress on gender equality can be achieved with political will.

However, the campaign urges Nicola Sturgeon to follow fellow MSPs and publically sign up to the campaign pledge for quotas in the Scottish Parliament, councils and public boards by 2020.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP and who co-launched the campaign said:

The First Minister has taken some very positive steps in appointing her Ministers, but the real prize will be a Parliament that looks like the people it represents. Nicola Sturgeon should make it clear that if her Government gets new powers over equality or elections, they will be used to bring gender balance to the Scottish Parliament.”

Fiona Mckay, Professor at the University of Edinburgh and steering group member of Women 5050 said:

“When it comes to promoting women’s equal representation in Scottish politics, the time has come for political leaders to support strong quotas enshrined in electoral law. More than half of all countries of the world now have some sort of quota in place and research shows that quotas are the ‘fast track to equality’. But voluntary party quotas rely on individual parties and have not gone far enough. It is time for Scotland to follow the example of other European countries, including France and Spain, who have already gone down the path of legally mandated quotas which require all parties to take action.”

Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland women’s officer said:

Women 50-50 is doing a fantastic job of bringing together those from all parties, and none, to say that no more will women go without their rightful place at every level of Scottish public life. It’s a campaign that NUS Scotland is proud to play a part in, and one we want to see all parties and the Scottish Government get involved with. We need to stand together to push for the powers and the purpose to make Scotland fairer for all of us. The First Minister has done a huge amount already to secure the fair representation of women within the Scottish Government, but we need to see that extended to all women in Scotland.

…ENDS