OPINION: Ladies...ever felt ignored?

Published: 7 Feb 2013 15:005 comments

Natalie McGarry on a Thursday...blogger, political activist and hoping to represent the SNP in Europe

EVER felt ignored?

With only four females in the UK cabinet, it seems that the views of women have been marginalised.

But the lack of women's representation goes beyond cabinets.

Too often, discussions are left to the same group of voices, in the same old studios, saying the same old things.

That said, in Scotland we should be proud of the role which women are playing in the important debates which will shape the future of our country.

Last week I appeared on Newsnight Scotland on behalf of Women For Independence.

We're a campaign group that aims to involve women ahead of next year's Independence referendum.

I was invited to chat about the effects of the Welfare Reform Bill. How will it impact on attitudes to Independence? How will it affect women in Scottish society?

I was pleased to do my part to ensure that the voices of Scottish women are heard in a discussion about the dismantling of the welfare state by the government in Westminster. This is an issue which affects us all - every household and every family.

The changes to the welfare state that are being implemented go further than the stated aim of tackling worklessness.

I believe it's an attack on people working hard to provide for their families.

Going forward, there can be no more high-profile role than Minister for Independence, being so capably handled by Nicola Sturgeon.

On the opposition benches, fronting their respective parties, are Labour's Johann Lamont and Tory Ruth Davidson.

And, keeping them all in line sits the Presiding Officer, Fife MSP Tricia Marwick; the first woman to hold the post since the Parliament was reconvened in 1999.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me just say that not only is Tricia Marwick a fantastic MSP and an accomplished Presiding Officer, she is also one of the best aunties a girl could ever have - and I'd know!


I hadn't been on Newsnight as a guest before and it was certainly a bit different creeping around an almost empty building at night, skulking into the make-up department before appearing in front of presenter Gordon Brewer.

The last time I was on TV previous to this, I was brandishing a turnip lantern and bemoaning the Americanisation of Hallowe'en!

They may have been two very different topics but I can confirm that both STV and the BBC employ the same trowels to apply screen make-up.


l was at a Burns Supper last week and was privileged to win a poetry master class with the Scottish Makar, Liz Lochhead in the raffle.

On account of not having a poetic bone in my body, and preferring to read the mastery of others than my own execrable attempts, it promises to be an interesting afternoon.

Between you and I though, I was secretly holding out hope for a cheeky bottle of something sparkling instead ...

Jump to first paragraph.


Have your say - post a comment on this article

Registered users log in here
If you are registered with us, you can login here. If you are not registered, please do so now. Once logged in you wont have to complete word verification each time you post.

  • thetiger
    319 posts
    Feb 7, 15:25
    Report abuse

    You were doing ok until you said Nicola sturgeon was doing a good job, with opinions like that, people will continue to ignore you.

    The tiger - also good at relationship advice

    Recommend?   Yes 9     No 4

  • ItsErnie
    464 posts
    Feb 9, 20:02
    Report abuse

    Oh yes - Nicola Sturgeon - before the election she waffled on about not being in favour of closing the Queen Margaret and after the election said there was nothing she could do. Anything to scrape a vote. Liars, damned liars and politicians eh?

    (apologies for the misquote).

    Recommend?   Yes 5     No 1

  • renee1
    2 posts
    Feb 10, 18:28
    Report abuse

    Bright Lady, excellent on Newsnight. I like the positive campaigning of the Nats, never personal or bitter sounding. I'm not really a big fan of anyone but everytime I hear an attack on big Eck or Wee Nic I love them a little bit more....

    Recommend?   Yes 3     No 3

  • Cenobite
    39 posts
    Feb 12, 18:38
    Report abuse

    She forgot to mention that other positive female role model....Joan McAlpine.

    Recommend?   Yes 2     No 1

  • thetiger
    319 posts
    Feb 13, 18:44
    Report abuse

    Renee, it wasn't meant as an attack on wee nic, the woman's a non entity !

    I am a wee bit jealous of her, I wish I'd thought of a way to extort a wage for doing nothing, whilst wasting millions of taxpayers money (when there is no hospital in Dunfermline) on a referendum that no-one wants and the wee nics political party have no chance of winning!

    Wee nic, an inspiration to us all!

    The tiger - would make a better job it than Alex

    Recommend?   Yes 4     No 2