Out of the 129 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, 51 are women (39.5%), as compared to 15% of MPs at UK government level. This under-representation of women in the Parliament, although it compares very favourably with the Westminster figure of 15%, is replicated across many facets of public life with women being under-represented in public appointments and as Chairs of public bodies (source: Appointments to Non-Departmental Public Bodies in Scotland, 2003). Increasing participation by women requires changes in attitutde about who is an adequate leader, who can stand for public office, and how people should be treated once they have made it into a public appointment. There are still great gender barriors which need to be eliminated to ensure equality in government.
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Equal Opporunities Commission