But between the excitement, there is also some hard lobbying that needs to happen. We need to make sure the ability to implement quotas is devolved in the Scotland Bill. Without this, our campaign will take longer and fair representation for women will be an even tougher fight.
On the 10th of September 2015, we sent an email to all Scottish MPs. We asked them to support our campaign and submit amendments to the next reading of the Scotland Bill to include the devolution of quotas.
Since then, Ian Murray MP has submitted the following amendment:
Clause 32, page 34, line 13, at end insert “including the imposition of minimum quotas for women and other persons with protected characteristics across all levels of public and political representation in Scotland.”
Member’s explanatory statement This Amendment is intended to make explicit that, among the exceptions to reserved matters on equal opportunities, the power is being devolved to the Scottish Parliament to set gender quotas.
We have now written to all MPs to ask them to support this amendment or to submit complimentary amendments to support this. We hope that in the same spirit as Women 5050, they work in a cross party way to make fair representation a reality.
The debate will be taking place within the next couple of weeks and over this time, we need to push our MPs to vote in favour and encourage others to do the same.
We have had positive responses from David Mundell MP who suggested in a letter to the Scottish Parliament Devolution Committee that quotas would be fully devolved, but it is only a win when it is clearly in the Scotland Bill. A letter of warm words and expectations is not enough.
Will you help us win?