ONE argument worth emphasising in the independence debate is Scotland’s potential to utilise proportional representation (PR), which can help to achieve proper female representation in parliament.
This could lead to more female and family-friendly policies and benefit society as a whole, cementing Scotland’s position as an equal and progressive nation.
The UK’s antiquated majoritarian first-past-the-post system is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. With only 22 per cent female representation, Westminster is deemed to fail women both in its policies and decision-making and falls short of the 25-30 per cent needed to have an impact.
With our system, female representation currently stands at 35 per cent – a strong position to build upon in a newly independent country and more in line with historically progressive nations using PR, such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
They have demonstrated that not only are societal improvements evident, but with increased female participation economies can also benefit as a result.
I have lived in both Scotland and Norway and have seen the benefits of increased female representation. Maternity and paternity benefits, childcare, boardroom and workplace equality are more in line with what one would expect from a fair and just nation.
However, with our current ties to Westminster we will never be able to fully realise the potential of PR. Without those ties, Scotland could be a fairer society to live in and future generations will reap the benefits. I know what type of society I want my daughters to grow up in, and I know how it can be realised.