Meryl Kenny and Fiona Mackay have completed an analysis of the candidate numbers for the upcoming Scottish local government elections. Less than 1:4 candidates are female; 1:7 contests are male-only; all the major parties are fielding less than 30% female candidates. They argue that the time has come for tough action on women’s representation – or nothing will change anytime soon. See the full information on the new gender politics @ edinburgh blog: http://www.genderpoliticsatedinburgh.wordpress.com

Gender Politics at Edinburgh

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By Dr. Meryl Kenny (UNSW) and Dr. Fiona Mackay (Edinburgh)

Thirteen years after devolution heralded a ‘new dawn’ in women’s representation – with Nordic levels of women MSPs elected to the first Scottish Parliament – the story remains very different at local government level. Less than 1 in 4 candidates for next month’s local government elections are women, leaving the face of local politics looking decidedly ‘male, pale, and stale’[1]. 1 in 7 council wards is contested by men only. Whilst all-women shortlists have attracted controversy both North and South of the border, the continuation of these all-male shortlists and contests largely goes unnoticed. With local government in crisis around perceived problems of legitimacy, representativeness and quality, this raises questions as to the lessons learned, future prospects, and actions needed if there is to be any real progress on women’s representation in Scotland. We argue that the time has…

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