This new report commissioned by the British Council and produced by the Hansard Society, concludes that the battle for fair and equal representation of women is far from won and urgent new action is needed if the progress made in Edinburgh and Cardiff over the last decade is to be sustained in the next one. Has Devolution Delivered for Women?, written by Joyce McMillan and Ruth Fox, explores the progress that has been made in improving the levels of female representation in the devolved legislatures over the last 10 years, analyses how this happened and what obstacles now threaten that progress. It explores the impact that women have had on the culture of politics in Scotland and Wales and the policy commitments that have been secured as a result of their leadership.
The report’s key findings include:
Dr Ruth Fox, Director of the Hansard Society’s Parliament and Government Programme and joint author of Has Devolution Delivered for Women?, commented: ‘Scotland and Wales have rightly been hailed as beacons of international progress on women’s representation in the last decade. But the 2007 results showed that progress has stalled and there are real fears that the 2011 election results will be markedly worse. It’s therefore vital that we start raising urgent questions about how and why this is happening and begin to map out what measures are needed to address it. It is a challenge that is too important to be left to the political parties alone.’
Paul Docherty, Director British Council Scotland said: ‘As an organisation that builds cultural links for Scotland internationally via 110 offices overseas we believe deeply in the importance of intercultural dialogue and diverse representation. That Scotland’s position as a leading nation in the parliamentary representation of women has slipped means that we must start considering what action can be taken to redress the balance.’
Download Has Devolution Delivered for Women? for free here.
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