UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 18 June 2024
 10.1°C   NNW Moderate Breeze
Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024

Letters / Attitudes still need to change

Last Wednesday evening I waited eagerly to see who I was up against as a candidate for Shetland West. Imagine my surprise when I saw a total of eight declared candidates, a number which is unprecedented for this ward, even before the boundary changes.

This is great for democracy, I thought, but then when looking over the other wards, I noticed the uncontested seats with one needing a by-election at a later date. Not so good for democracy.

Then I got to looking at how many women were standing. Another disappointment when I only counted nine, one fewer than five years ago. Only half them actually got elected. So that’s nine women and 27 men standing. I’ll leave you to do the maths.

So, after five more years we now have fewer women running. I know some of our women councillors have been working to encourage women to stand for office but this doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact. We need to do more. Attitudes still need to change towards women.

Recently, I was the target on social media of some very hateful, vile and disgusting comments. Unfortunately, getting sexist comments is not new to me as every time I run for election or put my head above the parapet, I receive them. But enough is enough!

I would class myself as a strong, resilient person but this time it did stop me in my tracks a bit before I decided the best way to deal with it was to call these people out. I have had many supportive messages and thoughts which have given me the strength to keep putting my head out there to be shot at but please only attack my political views and not me personally.

From my own experiences I can understand why more women don’t stand for election. Let’s make Shetland a place where women can stand up without being attacked merely because they are women.

Debra Nicolson
Candidate for Shetland West
Tresta

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 
Categories

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.