What to ask your candidates

Over the next few weeks there will be multiple hustings organised for you to meet with and quiz your candidates. Below are a few suggestions from us on questions you can ask to find out what your candidates think of quotas, of institutionalised sexism and racism and of online abuse:

  • Do you support the Women 50:50 campaign for legislated candidate quotes to get more women into parliament and in local councils? If yes, what will you do to make it a reality in the next parliament session? If not, why and what do you think should be done about the clear under-representation of women?
  • Women candidates and elected officials face disproportionate abuse (both on and off line) if elected what steps would you take to tackle this, both as an MSPs and as a party representative?
  • There has never been a women of colour MSP. What steps would you take as an MSP to tackle the compouding impact of sexism and racism faced by women every day?
  • Would you support calling the UK Government to enactment section 106 of the Equality Act 2010 which forces all political parties to publish the diversity data of their candidates ahead of elections? And if so, how would you take action to make this happen?
  • Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on women’s lives, with women more likely to be at risk as frontline workers, more likely to lose their jobs or have a reduction in income, and have taken on higher levels of care. How would you work to ensure that the post-Covid-19 recovery works to improve women’s lives and is informed by women’s voices?
  • During Covid-19 women have had to take on more unpaid care, with the number of unpaid carers rising by an estimated 250,000 (most of whom are women), what will you do to prioritise unpaid carers and how would you find routes to increase the financial support and resources they receive?
  • Women, particularly women of colour and working class women are disproportionately more likely be locked into low paid, undervalued and precarious work. What will you do to lift women out of poverty and improve pay and conditions in the sectors where women are over-represented (e.g. cleaning, social care and retail)?
  • After the murder of Sarah Everard, women took to social media to, yet again share their horrifying but all too common stories of harassment and abuse. This has happened before with #MeToo, Women of Colour have shared their traumas through the Black Lives Matter Movement, women refugees and asylum seekers regularly have to do the same. We do this in the hope people and policy makers, like you, listen. What will you do to tackle violence against women, and the racism, sexism and bigotry that can exist as a consequence of bad policy making?
  • During Covid-19 we have seen improved accessibility and modernisation in how MSPs can participate (through video conferencing and online voting for debates), will you support and push for such measures to remain in place post Covid-19 to continue a more accessible parliament and prevent significant travel requirements expected of MSPs?
  • If elected, what will you do to amplify the voices of local women and ensure women in this constituency/region are included in your decision-making process as equal partners?

We will add more to this list as more suggestions come in from our supporters and we will add the questions asked from our joint women’s sector and groups hustings on 1st April 2020.