Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie joined her colleagues Trish Godman and Johann Lamont to show support for women’s political inclusion in both the UK and across the globe by signing One World Action’s More Women More Power postcard campaign. The campaign is advocating that women should hold at least 50 per cent of elected positions in the UK and worldwide.
Speaking on International Women’s Day, on Sunday 8th March, Cathy said that “despite making up 50% of the world’s population, less than 20% of parliamentarians worldwide are women. In Scotland, a relatively high 35% of MSPs are women, although this is down from 37% in 1999 and the peak 39.5% in 2003.
“Scottish Labour can be proud that it advocated all-women shortlists and constituency twinning and led the UK in delivering a Labour Party with gender parity in the Scottish Parliament. It is the only party that has consistently returned 50% or more women among its MSPs, and the Scottish Parliament statistics would look much worse without them.
“The relatively good figures for Scotland and Wales (currently 47%, having been 40% in 1999 and 50% in 2003) are not reflected elsewhere in the UK. At Westminster, only 19.5% of MPs are women, and in Northern Ireland only 16.7% of MLAs are women – way down the league table.
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Article 7 of CEDAW says that all States who ratify the Convention ‘shall take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country’ and shall ensure to women ‘on equal terms with men’ the right to vote, formulate government policy, hold public office, and perform at all levels of government. In the last three decades, progress in the UK and across the world has been patchy. Now is the time for real action. One World Action.”