Women in Politics - First Events in the Western Isles

A project to get more women standing for political office is running two workshops in the Western Isles this month. Sponsored by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, a ‘Women in Politics’ workshops will run in both Stornoway and Balivanich.

The Parliament Project is a non-partisan initiative that seeks to inspire, empower and encourage women to run for political office in the UK. It runs information and skills building events and offers peer networking to support women to get elected. Since summer 2016, the Parliament Project has delivered workshops to over 3000 women in Scotland and England many of whom have gone on to stand for election.

The Women into Politics workshops will focus on allowing women to share their political ambitions, get information on different political roles available to them, hear from a previous female Councillor about her experiences and explore barriers to entry that are unique to the Western Isles. These events are open to all women.

Lee Chalmers, Founder and Co-Director of the Parliament Project, said: “We are delighted to be coming to the Western Isles. There are huge numbers of women out there who could be getting ready to run for office; we meet them every day - yet women make up only 36% of the Members of the Scottish Parliament and 24% of the Councillors. The Parliament Project is a confidence-builder, a safe space for women of all political colours and none, to explore and develop their political ambitions in a workshop setting which inspires participants to build networks, affirm personal goals and develop the skills required to stand for elected office.”

Derek Mackay, Democratic Services Manager, said: “I would encourage women interested in politics or representing their communities to go along to one of these workshops. We would like to see a more representative local authority and indeed across the public sector.”

The Stornoway workshop ‘Women into Politics’ will take place at Caladh Inn, 11 James Street, Stornoway, HS1 2QN on May 30th from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. and will feature former Western Isles councillor Catriona Stewart.

The Benbecula workshop will take place at 6:30pm to 8:30pm on May 31st at An Caladh, East Camp, Balivanich, HS7 5LA and the featured speaker is former Western Isles councillor Mairi Bremner. The workshops will be delivered by Lee Chalmers, Parliament Project Founder and Co-Director and Katie Brown, Parliament Project Lead for Scotland.

For further information, contact Lee Chalmers, Founder and Co-director on lee@parliamentproject.com