International Women’s Day event. Women in Politics Roundtable



Speakers: Zara Kitson, Ellen Forson, Sheila Mechan, Johanna Boyd and Jen Stout

Tuesday, 8th March, 2016. 6pm

Lecture Theatre B4, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling.

To celebrate International Women’s Day the Scottish Political Archive and the Students’ Union are hosting a Women in Politics roundtable.  This roundtable is part of a debate series held in advance of the May 2016 Scottish Elections.  The series is supported by the University of Stirling’s Stirling Fund.

Zara Kitson works for a national charity promoting LGBT equality and human rights. Zara’s experiences of growing up in an ex-mining village near Stirling drives her passion for equality and social justice. She is an organiser of So Say Scotland, is elected to Women for Independence National Committee and has an MA in Public Policy from Glasgow University. She has previously fought election campaigns for the Scottish Greens in Stirling, Dunfermline and Glasgow North East.

Ellen Forson was elected to Clackmannanshire Council in May 2012 and represents the ward of Clackmannanshire South (Alloa).  She is currently the Convenor of Education, Sport and Leisure.  She has worked for elected representatives for the last twelve years and is the SNP constituency organiser and election agent for the Clackmannanshire and Dunblane Constituency.  Ellen is a graduate of Strathclyde University where she studied politics and geography.  She currently lives in Alloa and has two sons aged 13 and 8.

Sheila Mechan is the Scottish Conservative candidate for Glasgow Kelvin in the 2016 Scottish Elections.  Sheila is a Scottish Solicitor and specialises in Employment Law, operating her own employment law consultancy.  Sheila has extensive industrial relations experience and is a supporter of the wider union movement to include the vital work which is undertaken by Credit Unions in their promotion of and education in strong community finances.

Johanna Boyd is Leader of Stirling Council and the youngest Council Leader in Scotland.  She is a law graduate and following university spent a decade in London representing local authorities, charities and public bodies on a diverse range of issues.  After returning to Scotland she became active again in local and national Labour Party politics, becoming the first woman to lead Stirling Council in 2013.  She is standing for Mid-Scotland & Fife in the 2016 Scottish Elections.

Jen Stout is a journalist with CommonSpace. She is from Fair Isle, Shetland, and her interests include class, LGBT rights, land reform, policing, Scottish politics and history, and Russia. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2012 with a degree in Sociology, and now lives in Glasgow.  During the referendum she ran women’s discussion groups and spoke at public meetings with Women for Independence and the Radical Independence Campaign. She also worked for the independent campaigning organisation 38 Degrees.