A Parliament for All: Report of the Parliament’s Gender Sensitive Audit

Dr Fiona McKay

In February 2022, the Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone MSP, launched an audit of how women are represented and participate in the Scottish Parliament.

A board set up and led by the Presiding Officer has considered the findings of the audit, and has responded with recommendations for change. These include creating a cross-party body of MSPs to oversee the effective delivery of the recommendations, drive forward the Parliament’s overall progress and ensure alignment with internationally recognised standards.

The audit makes 34 recommendations, with the key recommendation being that the report is not an end in itself but is the start of change.

Other recommendations include:

  • a ban on all-male committees at Holyrood
  • quotas for key governing bodies
  • a new permanent proxy-voting system

The report also recommends more systematic data gathering on women’s participation in the chamber and at committees, and a review of sitting times to discover what can be done to reduce the length of sessions and limit unpredictability.