Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today said that more needs to be done to ensure women have the same opportunities that men have enjoyed for generations as he marked International Women’s Day 2016.
Mr Rennie highlighted moves by the Scottish Liberal Democrats to improve the gender balance of candidates that were adopted by the party at the recent spring conference.
These measures include:
- Moves to ensure that the top Scottish Liberal Democrat list candidate for the European election in 2019 will be a woman;
- The use of all women shortlists in target seats for the Westminster and Holyrood elections;
- The creation of a diversity fund to support candidates from under-represented groups.
Commenting, Mr Rennie said: “On International Women’s Day it is right that we celebrate the achievements of all those who have broken through the glass ceiling that still restricts opportunity.
“We have made big strides towards gender parity in recent years. We have a female First Minister and I am in a minority of one as the only male leader of a larger Scottish political party. But the hard fact is that women are under-represented at the top level in business and politics alike. This needs to change. Scotland cannot be the best if the life chances of half of the population are restricted.
“As a party we are determined to ensure that more women have the chance to contribute to public life. This is why we adopted positive new measures to give us the best chance of getting more female Liberal Democrat candidates elected at our recent party conference.
“This is not about tokenism. It is about giving women the same opportunities that men have taken for granted for generations. That is our pledge for parity.”