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SCOTTISH EQUALITY - WOMEN DO WELL IN LOCAL POSITIONS

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Responsibility for the under-representation of women in councils probably lies at the door of political parties rat...
Responsibility for the under-representation of women in councils probably lies at the door of political parties rather than local government, a Scottish study suggests.

The survey of Scotland's councillors by the Scottish Local Authorities Management Centre found women elected to office secure more top jobs in councils run by Labour or Independents.

SLAMC notes Labour has adopted a positive strategy to encourage women while the Independents are free of any political party culture.

Only five of the 32 Scottish councils are led by women - when female representation of 25% among Scottish councillors suggests there should be eight.

But analysis of the replies from 53% of Scotland's councillors found women were just behind men in securing committee chair or vice-chair positions. Women Independents or Labour members were more likely to secure such positions than male colleagues. They were more likely to secure them with less than 16 years' membership of a political party.

The research team concluded: 'Where parties consciously choose to select women . . . or where party influence is lacking, women fare as well or better than men in Scottish local government.'

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