Sexism in Parliament: Where are all the women – and how can … The Independent It’s hard to credit in 2014, but it’s true: there’s still a major British workplace, one of the country’s best-known brands, where women have no right to take maternity leave. If they do have children, they tend to find that their shift patterns are deeply inflexible, making it all but impossible to maintain a normal family life at the same time as doing the job properly – a difficult thing when there’s still a prevailing assumption that they, and not their husbands, should be the ones to shoulder the greater part of the burden at home.
Considering all of that, it’s perhaps not surprising that there are still some men who work there who think they can get away with deeply creepy behaviour – behaviour that, almost anywhere else, would get them sacked. In this workplace, it’s not even clear who you would report it to.
JOINT CALL FOR WOMEN VOTERS TO ENGAGE WITH DEBATE Herald Scotland SCOTLAND’S most prominent female politicians have raised concerns that the independence debate has yet to be shaped by women’s voices.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran addressed the Scottish Women’s Convention (SWC) in Glasgow last week to encourage more women to get involved in key independence issues.
Sturgeon said: “With devolution we have been able to increase the amount of childcare available … But with independence we can go beyond this.
“This is a social and economic transformation that, as a matter of fact, can only be achieved when we have access to all of Scotland’s resources. And that’s why we need independence to deliver it in full.”
How sexist is politics? Herald Scotland “The LibDems have handled this badly. It’s shocking that this kind of attitude still exists. You would have thought that this kind of behaviour would be gone by now. I would have thought it would not be tolerated any more. The Scottish Parliament is not 50:50 men and women. We need to actively encourage women until that happens. It’s only then that we’ll properly change these behaviours.”
Kezia Dugdale, Labour shadow education minister: “The culture is so different from Westminster and I don’t think it would be tolerated here. I have certainly experienced everyday sexism in Holyrood. I was once in a lift with Bill Walker and Jenny Marra when he said: ‘How nice it is to be in a lift with two lovely ladies!'”
Margaret Curran, former Labour MSP and now MP and shadow secretary of state for Scotland in Westminster: “When the Scottish Parliament was set up initially, there was quite a lot of articles about the way women looked, or them not being as good at debating and such like, and I remember a few of us thinking we can’t have this – we need to strike early. And I think we largely succeeded.
Sturgeon v Curran: debating the iwomen issues Herald Scotland The Deputy First Minister and Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary have set out their visions for the future for women as they debated the issues surrounding independence.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon argued that a yes vote in September would bring gains in childcare, the minimum wage, equalities issues, pensions, benefits and economic opportunities.
Her opponent, Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran, countered by saying that the Scottish Government’s white paper on independence lacked ambition for women.
Detailing her party’s history of progress on women’s issues, Ms Curran set out her own vision for further gains by electing a Labour government at the next UK general election.
Lord Rennard row is damaging Liberal Democrats – David Steel The Guardian The bitter dispute among Liberal Democrats over Lord Rennard‘s alleged inappropriate advances to women is doing serious damage to the party and opening its members up to public ridicule, former leader David Steel said on Sunday.
With the party still split over how to resolve the dispute, Steel challenged Nick Clegg to change course and agree to settle the row by mediation, rather than subjecting Rennard to further investigation that could lead to his expulsion.
Steel’s remarks reflect a sense among sections of the party that a prolonged investigation will drag the row out and damage the Lib Dems’ prospects in May’s local and European elections.