Nicola Sturgeon, whom I’ve always admired as a politician, is already forcing the pace on increasing female participation, not only in politics but in all areas of public and business life. She should realise that she was not appointed First Minister as a woman, and that fatuous shibboleths like “50/50 by 2020” are at heart patronising.
The only argument I’ve been able to identify in this false campaign for supposed equality is that women currently don’t have it in certain areas of life. The relevant question is surely whether they are entitled to have it. The answer would depend on circumstances, but the significant decision criteria should in general be ability and experience.
Are we to assume that she achieved “gender equality” in her first cabinet by identifying the top five male and female MSPs, or did her top ten choice just bisect serendipitously between the two? This would be complicated by the need simultaneously to identify those best qualified to fulfil the specific requirements of individual cabinet posts.
Above all, politicians have no right to impose such limitations on business, apart from which I wonder whether our First Minister, determined to “ensure that there are no limits on women’s ambitions”, realises that equality also imposes a limit.