THE BLOG

One Year On - Women 5050

28/09/2015 17:03 BST | Updated 27/09/2016 10:12 BST

It's Women 5050's 1st birthday, in a whole 365 days - what have we achieved?

We started the Women 5050 campaign on the back of Scotland's independence referendum, recognising the surge in political interest, we wanted to find a way to direct it towards tackling women's inequality.

A group of feminist women sat down and considered how we could do this, we talked about a fairer economy for women, a fairer justice system for women, fair pay and fair work for women. Every issue we discussed bought us back to the same conversation - we need more women around the decision making table.

Our politics (and by that I mean something bigger than simply the Scottish Parliament), is governed by a majority of men and has been for generations. The decisions our politicians make, impact every aspect of our daily lives; the impact on the lives of women and girls can easily become forgotten, because they are not around the table discussing the decisions in the first place.

There wouldn't be a gender pay gap, had we valued women enough to include them in employment decisions, we would have a better, fairer and more affordable childcare system, if women's experiences were considered when we made decisions about our economy, and we would maybe even have a justice system that is more sensitive to the experiences of victims of sexual assault, had we had more women in public life deciding how justice works.

So we came to the conclusion that we need legislation that will push political parties to take women's representation seriously. Whilst some parties have taken the leap with voluntary measures, the progress has been slow. According to research, it would take another 80 years to reach equality in the parliament. One day without women fairly represented, is one day too long.

So what have we done since our launch?

• Secured the support of the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon

• Had over 800 members of the public sign up

• Secured the support of the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, the Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Liberal Democrats

• Got commended for our campaigning work in the House of Commons

• Have gained the support of organisations across the equalities sector and trade unions

• Been funded to host a national conference this year

Every time we have someone sign up, every time another organisation sign ups, we come a step closer to making fair representation a reality for women.

Women make up 51% of the population and yet only 35% of the Scottish parliament. But within that 51% of women, are intersectionalities that have a right to a political voice, but are often the furthest away from the political system; BME women, LGBTI women, disabled women, women refugees and asylum seekers, older women, young women, working class women.

Our campaign is about every single one of them.

It's only been one year, but Women 5050 will keep going until Scotland's public life becomes more reflective of the women it is meant to represent. We have come so far, and we won't stop till we win.

Get involved: www.women5050.org