Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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We need to talk about leadership…

We need to talk about leadership… | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

There’s rich debate taking place right now in Scotland that has revolutionised people’s participation in politics and the governance of our society.  People who until now have ...

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Roberto Piacentini's curator insight, September 5, 2014 3:59 AM

Regardless of the outcome of the Independence vote on the 18th of September, we can’t go back to how things were.

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Why No's video appeal to undecided women won't work

But the most powerful counter to it comes from women themselves. If you do one thing today, encourage undecided women you know to watch Women for Independence's video. It's a simple, direct appea...
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Vanesa Singla's curator insight, August 27, 2014 9:16 PM

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How to achieve women's equality in an independent Scotland

How to achieve women's equality in an independent Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A new report outlines how to achieve women's equality in an independent Scotland A new report released today by a leading feminist academic arguing that independence can be an opportunity to achiev...
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Why Women Should Vote Yes

Why Women Should Vote Yes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

There are many strong arguments for independence and I have been a life-long supporter of it. However, there is one argument worth emphasising that could better the conditions in many...

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Women aren't risk averse or fickle ... just busy fighting for survival

Women aren't risk averse or fickle ... just busy fighting for survival | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE travails of womankind are many, but being told how you think by Alistair Carmichael must count as a new one.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I have to admit to being more than a little perplexed by the apparent reluctance of women to support the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status. I say "apparent" advisedly, because there is every possibility that this is merely a statistical artefact - a product of the way polls are conducted - rather than solid evidence of different attitudes.

 

The one thing we should all avoid are those cringe-inducing generalisations about women that trip so easily off the tongues of thoughtless men. Women are not a homogeneous group. They are as diverse and complex as any other section of the population. Simplistic analysis is as meaningless as it is offensive.

 

We are often told that women are put off by male-dominated politics that is partisan, confrontational and aggressive. The suggestion is that politics has to change in order to accommodate women. Or that women need a special area fenced-off from normal political discourse. A girls-only zone where those rough boys are not allowed. I have always been highly dubious of such arguments. In my experience, women are every bit as capable as men of mixing it in the political bear-pit.

 

If women do not participate in politics to the same extent that men do it is not because they are deterred by the inherently adversarial nature of politics. It is because they have less opportunities to do so due mainly to the practicalities of their daily lives. It is not politics that needs to change, it is the conditions imposed on women by a social order that tends to exploit the disadvantaged. And women, in general, are disadvantaged relative to men. Not because of any male conspiracy to dominate, but simply because "the system" perpetuates and exacerbates existing disadvantage.

 

The reality is that the vast majority of men have no more choice in their lives than women. And no more power to change their lot than most women. Our roles are allocated to us, and we make the best we can of it. Any woman who aspires to same social advantage and political power that I enjoy simply as a consequence of being male really needs to raise her sights a bit.

 

Just as I reject the idea that women need a special kind of politics, so I dispute the notion that there is some special women's category of arguments in the referendum debate. There are no "women's topics". And there are no topics which do not also concern men. It is as condescending and insulting to men to suggest that they are not concerned about childcare as it is to suggest that the ladies aren't inclined to worry their pretty little heads about defence.

 

There are, of course, differences of emphasis; differences of prioritisation; differences of perspective on the issues. But there are not different sets of issues marked "His" and "Hers". The differences of emphasis, prioritisation and perspective exist at the individual level. There is as much diversity among women as there is among men.

 

We don't need a message specially formulated for a female audience. The positive, aspirational message of the Yes campaign has a broad appeal that addresses all of the people of Scotland. The rational arguments are not gender-specific. We need only ensure that the practicalities of their lives are not an impediment to women being able to access this message and these arguments.

 

Campaigners should organise events and activities mindful of the constraints that fall most particularly on women. If you're a man, think about how you can make it easier for your partner to attend events and participate in activities. Above all, do not unthinkingly exclude the women around you on the basis of a facile assumption that they are not interested in politics. Women don't need special treatment. They just need to be treated like people.

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Let's hear it for the changemakers, for they are voting Yes

Considering all of this instils in me a confidence that not only will Scotland vote yes for independence but that a majority of women aged 25 to 54 will also eventually journey to Yes. Why? Becaus...
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Rallying cry: Salmond inspires troops at last SNP conference before referendum

Rallying cry: Salmond inspires troops at last SNP conference before referendum | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond yesterday promoted two more women to his Cabinet in a clear attempt to win over female voters in the referendum as he set out a vision of a fairer and more noble Scotland under independence.
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Alex Salmond sets out to woo Scotland's women

Alex Salmond sets out to woo Scotland's women | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
In the run up to the 1997 General Election, the SNP campaign in Stranraer was visited by Alex Salmond. The day started with some street work in the town centre and activists and members turned out ...
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Wean's World

Wean's World | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
By Fiona MacInnes When my children were young I never had time to read columns like this, I was like many women simply getting through each day surviving. Mothering is the most difficult job there ...
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Gender equality can increase prosperity in an independent Scotland

Gender equality can increase prosperity in an independent Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Women for Independence By Michelle Thomson, Managing Director of Business for Scotland and Michael Gray, Researcher. Gender remains an important factor in the economic structure of both Scotland and the UK. Economic opportunities are strongly linked to gender. For this reason, economic decisions in
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Nicola Sturgeon: 'Win over women and we'll win the referendum' - Telegraph

Nicola Sturgeon: 'Win over women and we'll win the referendum' - Telegraph | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Deputy First Minister puts independence gender gap back in the spotlight as new poll shows just one in four women back Scottish separation
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Deputy First Minister's speech will point to gains of independence for women

Deputy First Minister's speech will point to gains of independence for women | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

In a keynote address at the Scottish Women's Convention in Glasgow on Saturday, the Depute Leader of the Scottish National Party and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will set out "six gains of independence" for women - focusing on childcare, the minimum wage, equalities issues, pensions, benefits, and economic opportunities.


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Scotland's women agree - they haven't had a fair deal from Westminster

Successive Labour and Tory governments have failed the women of Scotland. They might think they've got away with treating them unfairly, but Scotland's women are on to them.
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Women not given hope by Yes campaign admits Smith

Women not given hope by Yes campaign admits Smith | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Actress Elaine C Smith, one of the leading cultural voices in the Scottish independence movement, has admitted it has failed to capture the imagination of women.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I don't know what events Elaine C Smith has been attending, but her description doesn't match any event I've been at. If there was a problem in the early days of the Yes campaign getting women to fill places on the platform at meetings that problem was overcome a long time ago. With people like Natalie McGarry, Carolyn Leckie and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh on panels it is ridiculous to suggest that women are being side-lined.


I'm also highly dubious about about this idea that there has to be a separate, special kind of politics just for women. Or that politics must adjust to accommodate women. Frankly, I find this a pernicious and demeaning notion. If the referendum campaign has demonstrated anything it is that women are perfectly capable of engaging with the politics we have. They have not needed a space set aside for them nor any particular allowances made. They have strode into the foray alongside their male counterparts and have held their own without so much as a hint of a fainting fit.


It may well be that politics in Scotland is being transformed by women. In which case, more power to them, I say. But I reject utterly any suggestion that politics must be transformed FOR women.

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Wimmin's week in the referendum (1)

So, a risible piece in the TElegraph from Cathy Newman, the latest Scottish Social Attitudes Survey focusing on the gender gap in voting intentions in the referendum and a keynote speech by Margare...

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Quotas for women on boards in an independent Scotland?

Quotas for women on boards in an independent Scotland? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

In his speech to the SNP conference in Aberdeen, the First Minister stated: "In an independent Scotland, we will want our companies to aspire to at least 40 per cent female participation on their boards." Better Together at once suggested that this smacked of a desperate appeal to women voters,

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Women-only Cabinet event to debate independence

Women-only Cabinet event to debate independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
A WOMEN-only Scottish Cabinet event will be held to debate issues related to the independence referendum.
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Margo MacDonald urged women to vote ‘Yes’

Margo MacDonald urged women to vote ‘Yes’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
MARGO MacDONALD called for women to back independence in her final TV interview, to be aired next week.
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Independent Women

Independent Women | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

In the week we lost Margo MacDonald, the SNP finally, finally announced some breakthrough policies for women. Call it politics, call it one-upmanship (sic), I don't care. I'm pret...

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Sowing seeds

Sowing seeds | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Dear Scottish women, It seems that we're letting the side down a bit here. If the same percentage of us were willing to vote Yes as the men, we'd be home and dry come September 18th, living in a nu...
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Independence is nothing for mothers to be feart of

Motherhood is a struggle. To be good enough. To make the right decisions. And I think this daily dilemma is at the heart of women's reticence about independence. The worry, the responsibility to do...
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Women For Independence - Our Voices - YouTube

This year Scotland faces a big decision. In our video many women come together to deliver one message - that is for all women in Scotland to ensure they part...
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Boom and bust

Boom and bust | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We've been documenting lately the number of "Better Together" scare stories that have been horribly sagging under the weight of scrutiny since the turn of the year. But yesterday saw perhaps the No...
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