Today’s debate could change Scotland’s politics for women
On Monday, MPs will be debating whether equality for women in the Scottish Parliament can become a reality.
The amendment to the Scotland Bill, submitted by Ian Murray MP, would devolve the ability to implement “gender balance” measures into the Scottish Parliament and in public bodies. This is the first ask of the Women 5050 campaign and would bring Scotland a significant step closer to a 50/50 parliament.
A spokeswoman from Women 5050 said:
“The ability to introduce quotas should have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament from day one. Today, we have the unusual set up of one parliament deciding the fate of whether women can have equal footing in another parliament. MPs have the chance to devolve this issue to Scotland, so we can debate it fully and legislate for fair representation. Women’s representation in Scotland has decreased since the set up of the Scottish Parliament, and is currently at 35%, it’s simply not good enough. Women 5050 has the backing of four out of five of the party leaders in Scotland including the First Minister, there is clear political will for this to be devolved to Scotland and that must be listened to.”
The full amendment is as follows:
Clause 32, page 34, line 13,
at end insert, “including a requirement for gender balance among the members of the Scottish Parliament and members of boards of Scottish public authorities.”
Member’s explanatory statement The Amendment would ensure continued progression towards achieving gender balance among members of the Scottish Parliament and on boards of Scottish public authorities