About this toolkit

Diversity in our politics and our political institutions is beneficial for everyone. Diversity grows engagement in public life, increases participation in elections and enriches policy decisions. This improves democracy at all levels of communities and could have a positive impact on the success of your political party.

This online self-assessment tool is for members of political parties who want to find out how their local, regional, or national party can benefit from increasing the diversity of its members. Focusing on the experiences of women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and the LGBTI community, the tool enables you to assess your current practice across a range of themes. The tool then provides tailored guidance and an action plan of the steps you can take to advance equality and diversity in your activities.

The Equal Representation in Politics Tool has been developed by the Equal Representation Project, a partnership between Engender, The Equality Network, Stonewall Scotland, CEMVO, BEMIS, Women 50:50, and Inclusion Scotland.

Who are the Equal Representation Project?

The Equal Representation Project is a coalition of partners including: Engender, Women 5050, Inclusion Scotland, the 1 in 5 campaign, CEMVO, CRER, BEMIS, the Scottish Refugee Council, Stonewall Scotland, the Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, and the Scottish Youth Parliament.

What is our vision?

We have a vision for Scotland where our elected representatives truly reflect the diversity of the Scottish population – improving democracy, increasing engagement in public life, enriching policy decisions, and therefore bringing benefits to all.

How can political parties help achieve this vision?

  1. Commit to the vision for meaningful representation as set out by equalities organisations.
  2. Audit the diversity of party members, activists, staff, candidates and elected representatives at all levels, creating a benchmark against which to monitor change.
  3. Set targets, and/or quotas where applicable, where there is underrepresentation, taking account of intersectionality and individuals’ multiple identities, and implement actions to meet any targets set.
  4. Audit and address barriers to participation in all party activities, including but not limited to, standing in elections.
  5. Commit to supporting and working with organisations and campaigns working to increase the participation of under-represented groups.