What are parties doing for 2021?

Internal political party discussions are heating up as selections take place for Scottish Parliament candidates, but the talk isn’t about women’s representation.

In the 2016 election, the SNP, Scottish Labour and the Greens either met the 50% women candidates target or came very close. As candidates are being selected, we think it is worth reminding all parties that now is the time to take real action to deliver candidates who looks like the society they are seeking to represent. There are many efforts parties can take, and whilst we would prefer for there to be legislated candidate quotas to ensure *all* parties take action, we do not need to wait for that to happen to see change. Parties can, right now, take voluntary and progressive action to make fair representation a reality on the ballot paper.

We have written to all main parties to ask them what action they are taking, if any (below is the email we have sent). We will post up responses at the end of July, in the hope there is positive news from all of Scotland’s main political parties. 

FAO: Party Chairs, Chief Executives or Senior staff (please note we have only emailed party contact details which are available online) 

We are the national campaign for women’s fair representation across Scotland’s national and local politics. We are delighted to have the support of four out of five of the major parties in Scotland and a majority of the current MSPs, but we also know that alongside supportive words on women’s political equality we neen action. As parties select their candidates for 2021, now is the time for that action to be taken.

Whilst we are campaigning for legislated candidate quotas in Scotland, parties do have the option to pursue interventions right now, such as all women shortlists and specific outreach activities targeting under-represented groups to be candidates in the forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections.

We are gathering information to find out what interventions parties are committing to, to increase the number of women candidates, in particular women from BME backgrounds, disabled women and working class women. We would appreciate it, if you could respond to this email, telling us what actions your party is taking? Please note, we will be publishing all responses on our website.

We look forward to hearing from you,