Female representation has reached a record high at Holyrood with 45 per cent of MSPs being women. In total, 58 female parliamentarians have been returned, with the Scottish Greens achieving 63 per cent and SNP 53 per cent.
The first woman of colour has become an MSP with Kaukab Stewart elected for the SNP in Glasgow Kelvin. She said after her victory: “It has taken too long but to all the women and girls of colour out there, the Scottish Parliament belongs to you too, so while I may be the first, I will not be the last.”
She has been joined by five other black and minority ethnic MSPs in parliament, including new Scottish Conservative MSPs, Sandesh Gulhane and Pam Gosal, who is the Scotland’s first-ever Indian Sikh MSP.
In addition to the six BAME MSPs Holyrood also has its first permanent wheelchair user with Scottish Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy and her party’s first-ever male LGBT member Paul O’Kane.
The Scottish Parliament also has new members with an international background including the Greens Lorna Slater and the SNP’s Elena Whitham who are originally from Canada, and SNP colleague Siobhian Brown who grew up in Australia.
A number of MSPs will swear in on Thursday in different languages, myself included as part of the German-Scottish community. I think it sends a great message, that Scotland’s parliament is diverse, inclusive and international. That’s something we can all be proud of.