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Why this Manifesto

A manifesto is a published declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government.

 

Frontline Feminists Scotland has produced this manifesto for two reasons.

 

Firstly, we believe it is important that our elected representatives understand the needs of their electorate and that often this understanding is based on a male experience of Scottish communities. A wide range of research has shown that not only does this specific perspective have a detrimental effect on women, but it negatively affects all members of our community and the economy. We are therefore offering candidates this manifesto as an opportunity to recognise the needs of women and the wider community.

 

Secondly, being able to vote is a hard-fought right for women in this country. It is just over 100 years since this right began to be recognised. Today the right to vote, should not force women to vote for candidates that reinforce old stereotypes, further increasing women’s inequality reducing women’s equality in our communities. In particular, this manifesto acts as a discussion paper for women to think about how their local candidates can support women by challenging  sexism in our communities, including male violence against women, exploitation of women through commercial sexual exploitation and the negative impact of male-focussed institutions on women.

 

Women should always feel they have an credible selection when voting . We hope that candidates will endorse the demands contained in this manifesto to reassure women that they are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.  However, where women find they cannot - in all good conscience - vote for any of the candidates they are presented with, we would encourage them to spoil their ballot paper with the words “Women’s Voices Matter”. Although this is not a vote, this shows commitment to the process and indicate their opposition to all the candidates, rather than women being further silenced and under-represented.