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Council / SIC stages event to encourage women into politics ahead of 2022 election

A SPECIAL event focusing on opportunities for women is being held later this month as part of a drive to encourage more people to stand in next year’s council elections.

On Monday 22 November a programme of speakers including Shetland Islands Council’s depute political leader Emma Macdonald and Elect Her director Hannah Stevens will be sharing their experiences and talking about the opportunities and challenges open to women in the islands.

Elect Her works to inspire, empower and encourage women of all ages to get into politics, while Macdonald will talk about her path into the council and her experiences over the past four years.

There will be information on how the process works and the wide range of support and training available to prospective and successful candidates.

“What we need are people to come forward to represent the wider community in all its diversity, and it’s obviously extremely important to have a good gender balance,” Macdonald said.

“Being a councillor has challenged me in a very positive way. I’ve got a lot out of it personally, and I’d like more people from across the community to consider getting involved. A good spread of candidates is good for local democracy.”

Stevens, meanwhile, said it was important to see more women elected in “every sphere of government across Scotland” and her organisation was “really happy” to be part of the local authority’s initiative.

“When women have access to political leadership there are gains for the whole of society, not just women,” she said.

“It is fantastic that Shetland Islands Council is creating space for women to have conversations about what it means to stand for the local council, and what support is in place if you do so.”

  • The event will take place at Lerwick Town Hall on Monday 22 November from 7pm-8.30pm. Anyone wanting to attend can get in touch with the SIC’s members support team by phoning (01595) 744511 or emailing memberssupport@shetland.gov.uk.