About this Toolkit
What is it?
The Equal Representation in Politics Toolkit is a free, comprehensive and easy-to-use set of resources for members of political parties to assess and enhance their current practice around accessibility, diversity and inclusivity. It includes a self-assessment tool, in-depth guidance, tailored action plans and the opportunity for users to access further bespoke support.
The Toolkit covers 7 topics across a range of themes relevant to the work of parties. It is suitable for use by members, volunteers and staff involved in party life across local branches, regional or national levels. Each topic will take no more than 5 minutes, and you can access it on the website or you can download it as an app.
How does it work?
Focussing on the experiences of women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and the LGBTI community, the Toolkit is built around self-assessment. Users are invited to answer questions covering different aspects of party life. At the end of each section you will receive tailored advice and action points based on your answers. You can select to have the results collated into an action plan and emailed to you in a PDF document.
For each topic there is also accompanying guidance documents which provide a bit more detailed information, and a checklist so that you can track your progress at a glance.
Anyone is able to take the tests and access the materials, however we recommend creating a login so that you can easily store and track your results as you progress. Using a phone or tablet? You can download the Equal Representation in Politics App for iPhone/iPad or Android.
If you have any questions about the Toolkit, or would be interested in accessing free one-to-one support on using the Toolkit or implementing any part of your action plan, please email Jessie Duncan, our Equal Representation Development Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it important?
Women, disabled people, LGBTI people and minority ethnic people continue to be underrepresented at all levels of decision making. Although strides were made at the 2021 Holyrood elections with a record number of women MSPs elected including the first two women of colour and the first permanent wheelchair user, there is still work to be done to ensure that progress continues and is carried into to our local councils and Westminster.
Recent successes are a result of parties working hard to create more supportive environments and reviewing internal processes such as candidate selection. Parties now have the opportunity and the responsibility to build on this progress.
How will it benefit my party?
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 at the polls as well as in the quality of your policy work and membership numbers.
Who is involved?
The Equal Representation Coalition brings together organisations from across the equalities sector in Scotland to work together to improve diversity and achieve equal representation in politics. Today the Equal Representation Coalition includes Engender, The Equality Network, CEMVO, Stonewall Scotland, Women 50:50, CRER, BEMIS, Inclusion Scotland, YWCA Scotland - The Young Women's Movement and ElectHer.
The Equal Representation Toolkit was created by members of the Equal Representation Coalition including Engender, The Equality Network, CEMVO, Stonewall Scotland, BEMIS, Women 50:50 and Inclusion Scotland.