Scottish independence can ‘recast’ role of women

Volunteers pictured during the Women for Independence weekend of campaigning. Picture: John Devlin
Volunteers pictured during the Women for Independence weekend of campaigning. Picture: John Devlin
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AN independent Scotland has the opportunity to ‘recast’ the role of women in civic life and create a more ‘progressive and equal’ society, a new report has found.

Much of their contribution is currently ‘unpaid, undervalued and invisible’ and this must be addressed if the independence movement is serious about change, according to the report, entitled Women of an Independent Mind.

According to the report, the ‘status quo is clearly not a desirable option for women in Scotland’, adding: “Unequal pay, increasing levels of poverty and distance from decent jobs in a labour market that is shrinking for women, falling levels of representation in local government and the Scottish Parliament... are not acceptable.”

Polling suggests women are less enthusiastic about independence than men.

The SNP government has made efforts to attract women voters with plans for universal childcare for all pre-school age youngsters to get a generation of mothers back into the workplace.

The new report, published today, was written by Angela O’Hagan of Glasgow Caledonian University.

The report describes women’s representation in elected politics as ‘falling and stalling’, while participation in public governance and on boards of firms is lower than many other countries.

It states: “Women’s representation must be equal in government at all levels, on the boards and governance structures of public authorities and in business” and recommends that “women’s contribution to public and political life must be valued along with men’s contribution as being for the common good.”