Scotland & the European Elections: What's in it for women?
As Scotland prepares to go to the polls in the European Elections on 23rd April (you can find out who the MEP candidates in Scotland are here), we've looked at the manifestos to create a gender summary of what's in it for women.
“Unexpected.” “The election that no one wants.” “The chance for Scotland’s voice to be heard.”
Britain’s last-minute decision (if it can be called a decision) to take part in the 2019 European Election has caught many of our political parties off guard. In the scramble to find candidates willing to fight an election on the key issue of our times and possibly take up a role as an MEP due to cease with the new Brexit date on 31 October, the elections on the 23rd of May still feel a rather distant prospect.
Of course, the campaign and its results will largely be scrutinised along Remain / Leave lines, with Nigel Farage’s nascent Brexit Party widely predicted to top the polls UK-wide and a moderately strong resurgence of support for the Liberal Democrats and the Greens likely. In Scotland, the SNP is hoping to win a third seat (of Scotland’s available six) on the lines that Scotland has been excluded from a Brexit process it didn’t consent to, with a second referendum on Scottish independence never far from thoughts.
All this means there has been little chance and little hope for civil society to scrutinise let alone influence hastily drawn up manifestos. Some may even question what the point of doing so is, given the looming exit date six months hence.
Yet, that date has moved before, and Remain-orientated parties haven’t given up the prospect of staying in the EU entirely. A lot can happen in six months and our MEPs will still have votes in some of the key issues the European Parliament explores in that time. As our MEPs sit in European groups, each of which produces manifestos, it is still important that we examine the gender-impacts of key commitments. Even post-Brexit, our relationship with the EU will influence us through trade and social and cultural proximity, especially in Scotland where the Government intends to ‘keep pace’ with EU legal developments.
So Engender has produced a mini gender summary, which we have previously produced for UK election manifestos, focused on national party manifestos (where they exist) and/or key issues from their European Groups. The summary recreates aspects of the manifestos which directly relate to gender equality and women’s rights in order to make comparisons of the gender analysis each contains. We have also included the parties’ stated positions on the Brexit process for fullness and context.
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A Gender Edit of the Scottish Government Draft Budget 2018-19 This document is a ‘gender edit’ guide to the Scottish Government Draft Budget 2018-19.
A Gender Summary of Party Manifestos in the UK General Election 2017 This document contains a summary of commitments made in party manifestos for the 2017 General Election that are relevant to Engender's work in advancing and enabling women's equality.
Engender Response to the European Commission: Public consultation on Gender equality in the EU – current situation and priorities for future This is an Engender response to the European Commission's public consultation to gather opinions of different actors of the current situation of gender equality in the EU and priorities for the next five years.
Engender submission to the Scottish Government on equality and socio-economic impacts of EU Exit (‘Brexit’) This is Engender's submission to the Scottish Government on equality and socio-economic impacts of EU Exit (‘Brexit’).
Gender Edit of General Election 2019 Manifestos This document is a ‘gender edit’ of the manifestos published by political parties in the run up to the snap General Election on 12th December; it pulls out relevant commitments from the manifestos of each of the six largest political parties standing in the General Election in Scotland.
Scotland & the European Elections: What's in it for women? This document contains a summary of commitments made in Scottish party manifestos for the 2019 European Elections that are relevant to Engender's work in advancing and enabling women's equality.
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