Tue 8 Mar, 2016

On International Women's Day 2016, John Finnie, MSP Candidate for Highlands and Islands, share his thoughts on the Pledge for Parity and why it is necessary.

I’m a ‘typical’ politician, a middle aged man and, despite my best efforts, complicit in contributing to societal failure.

In 2014 the World Economic Forum predicted it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. One year on that same forum told us “a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress” means woman will have to wait until 2133 for that parity.

We live in a so-called advanced liberal democracy yet, during these last few years, the economic and social position of women has eroded further. A group of largely middle-aged men, and their female acolytes, have put in place a programme of economic austerity and, as ever, it’s women and girls that have and will continue to suffer the consequences.

Worldwide women and girls form the majority of those living in poverty. Achieving gender justice is not only a matter of basic human rights but also key to addressing poverty.

International Women’s Day will see people step forward and make the entirely reasonable case for parity. Their case will not be based on greed or a lust for power, nor on gender alone, rather on a shared common humanity and we must all support that just cause.

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