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Claim the Space – Women in Public Life

Written by on 10 August 2021

Women for Independence set up a meeting recently on the theme of women in public life. They aim to encourage more women into public office. Four women told us something of their own experience in public life: the good, the not so good, and the sometimes truly dreadful. But they also talked about the ways we can help each other to claim that space.

This was the panel:

This is what they spoke about:

Lorna Slater spoke about her experience of the Homeward Bound Project The project supports women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) to significantly improve their confidence, vision and strategic capability. Qualities that we so urgently need for our planet. Lorna, who is an engineer by training, took part in the project culminating in a month’s expedition to the Antarctic.

Emma Walker talked about the work being done in the Change the Chat Project. The project mission is vibrant : “We’re impatient. We are pushing for a world where feminism significantly influences everything from environmental policy to the legal system, where women have the same opportunities as men and the same access to justice when things go wrong. With a diverse, intersectional community we will champion the many voices and experiences of women.” 

Kat Cary talked about the stress and difficulties experienced by women who have suddenly found themselves in the public eye, being scrutinised by a very unfriendly media. Kat is also involved with Reclaim These Streets

Talat Yaqoob is a Scottish campaigner, writer and commentator. Her focuses is on women’s equality, race equality and intersectional analysis of policy. Talat talked about why she set up Pass the Mik  which started as a directory of women of colour experts. A way to diversify the voices in media and diversify the expertise we get to see and hear from. The project grew from listings of potential contributors into something bigger. It has won funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to do outreach and development work. And it now pays women of colour to write and present in the Scottish media.

You can listen to them here: