Women's Equality Party today became the first Scottish political party to sign up wholesale to the Women 50:50 campaign.
Women 50:50 has received backing from many women’s organisations across Scotland, with four out of five of the party leaders signed up to the campaign, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
However, just one third of MSPs have made a commitment to this important campaign.
In contrast, the Women’s Equality Party (WE) has signed up as a party.
“WE hope that all other political parties will follow our lead,” said Lee Chalmers, WE’s Lothian candidate for the May elections. “The Women’s Equality Party are aiming to make Scotland the first gender equal country in the world, and believe that by supporting Women 50:50 as an entire party rather than just as individuals, we can make the commitment to achieving equal representation become a reality.”
WE are standing candidates in both Lothian and Glasgow in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections. Equal representation in politics and business is one of the party’s six core objectives.
Chalmers is a long-time supporter of equal representation, having previously served as Vice-Chair of the Fawcett Society.
“I am delighted that my party has taken the bold step to sign up to Women 50:50,” she said. “WE are the first to do so, as we know how important it is for women’s equality to be pushed right to the top of the political agenda. A vote for me in May is a vote for keeping it there.”
Anne Beetham, WE’s candidate for the Glasgow regional list, was impressed to hear Nicola Sturgeon and Kezia Dugdale speak of their support for gender equality at the Women 50:50 conference in November.
“Leadership support is critical but in order to ensure gender balance it is not enough,” she said. “I am keen to work with all parties in the Scottish Parliament to ensure it recognises the benefits that real equality will bring to Scotland.”
1. The Women's Equality Party was established in March 2015. It has six core objectives - equal representation, an end to violence against women, equality in education, equality in the media, equal parenting and caregiving, and equal pay.
2. For comment or more information, please contact Lee Chalmers (07739 350168) or Anne Beetham (07761 114633)
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