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Trends in Women

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Trends in Women s Political Representation in Scotland Meryl Kenny (meryl.kenny_at_unsw.edu.au) Visiting Fellow, University of Edinburgh Vice-Chancellor s Fellow ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Trends in Women


1
Trends in Womens Political Representation in
Scotland
  • Meryl Kenny (meryl.kenny_at_unsw.edu.au)
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Edinburgh
  • Vice-Chancellors Fellow, University of New South
    Wales
  • Constitutional Futures Seminar
  • Session II Constitutions, Quotas and Womens
    Political Representation
  • 14-15 February 2013

2
Trends over Time Scottish Parliament Elections
3
Trends over Time post-1999
  • Overall trend of stasis or regression in numbers
    of female MSPs elected post-1999 in the majority
    of the main Scottish parties
  • Labour only party to adopt strong quota measures
    across all elections (but post-1999 low cost
    measures aimed at regional lists)
  • Use of quotas in 1999 (particularly Labours
    twinning of constituency seats) continues to
    hold up headline figures, but overall decline in
    recruitment/election of female candidates
  • Womens representation no longer a matter of
    party competition
  • Progress post-1999 brought about more by accident
    than design, and gender quotas/gender balance
    still poorly institutionalized within parties
    (Mackay, 2003 Mackay and Kenny, 2007 Kenny and
    Mackay, 2011)

4
Trends over Time Scottish political parties
5
Womens Representation in Scotland at other levels
6
How were gains achieved?
  • Windows of opportunity provided by wider reform
    processes party and political modernization
    feminization, institutional change
    constitutional restructuring, and wider
    international trends (quota fever)
  • Electoral reform at Scottish Parliament level
    new avenues more places for women (and no
    incumbents)
  • Sustained campaign within/outwith political
    parties on womens representation (esp. Labour)
  • Agreements on gender equality/womens
    representation through SCC, Electoral Contract,
    womens conferences, White Paper Scotland Act
  • Womens representation widely accepted as a
    general principle and as a matter of party
    competition (Kenny and Mackay, 2013)

7
Key Lessons (1)
  • Change can happen...but need to be vigilant
  • Importance of organized womens activists and
    allies, but gender equality issues can easily
    slip off of the agenda (Mackay and McAllister,
    2012)
  • Numbers matter...but arent everything
  • Prominent role of women in Scottish Parliament
    has shaped political priorities and ways of
    working (Mackay et al. 2003).
  • But, link not always straightforward future
    progress uncertain
  • Quotas work...but once is not enough
  • Equality measures havent caught on across
    parties or political levels (Kenny and Mackay,
    2013)
  • Implementation is key importance of winnable
    seats/positions, transparency/accountability, and
    effective sanctions for non-compliance (Kenny and
    Verge, 2013)

8
Key Lessons (2)
  • Scotland still a leader...but for how long?
  • 1999 and 2003 as high tide of womens
    representation in Scotland?
  • Continued reluctance of major parties to take
    bold and sustained action
  • Wider trends of glacial progress, stagnation or
    slippage in womens representation over time and
    across different levels
  • Is womens representation too important to be
    left up to political parties?
  • Time has come for stronger measures, including
    mandatory legal quotas

9
References and Resources
  • University of Edinburgh Gender Politics Blog
    www.genderpoliticsatedinburgh.wordpress.com
  • M. Kenny (2013) Gender and Political Recruitment
    Theorizing Institutional Change. Basingstoke
    Palgrave.
  • M. Kenny and F. Mackay (2013) When is Contagion
    not very Contagious? Dynamics of Womens
    Political Representation in Scotland,
    Parliamentary Affairs (doi 10.1093/pa/gss109).
  • M. Kenny and T. Verge (2013) Decentralization,
    Political Parties and Womens Representation
    Evidence from Spain and Britain, Publius The
    Journal of Federalism, 43 (1), 109-128.
  • F. Mackay and L. McAllister (2012) Feminising
    British Politics Six Lessons from Devolution in
    Scotland and Wales, Political Quarterly, 83 (3),
    730-734.
  • M. Kenny and F. Mackay (2012) Less Male, Pale
    and Stale? Women and the 2012 Scottish Local
    Government Elections, Scottish Affairs, 80
    (Summer), 20-32.
  • M. Kenny and F. Mackay (2011) In the Balance
    Women and the 2011 Scottish Parliament
    Elections, Scottish Affairs, 76 (Summer), 74-90.
  • F. Mackay and M. Kenny (2007) Womens
    Representation in the 2007 Scottish Parliament
    Temporary Setback or Return to the Norm?,
    Scottish Affairs, 60 (Summer), 25-38.
  • F. Mackay (2003) Women and the 2003 elections
    keeping up the momentum, Scottish Affairs, 44
    (Summer), 74-90.
  • F. Mackay, F. Myers and A. Brown (2003) Towards
    a new politics? Women and the Constitutional
    Change in Scotland in A. Dobrowolsky and V. Hart
    (eds) Women Making Constitutions. Basingstoke
    Palgrave, pp. 84-98.
  • M. Russell, F. Mackay and L. McAllister (2002)
    Womens Representation in the Scottish
    Parliament and National Assembly for Wales Party
    Dynamics for Achieving Critical Mass, Journal of
    Legislative Studies, 8 (2), 49-76.
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