“My call to women across the UK is this – be the change you want to see in the world. If being underrepresented in Parliament frustrates you like it did for me, it is time to consider running for office.”-
– Angela Crawley MP
Angela Crawley is a Scottish National Party politician. She has served as an MP for Lanark and Hamilton East since 2015.
For our July 2018 edition of 50:50 Voice (subscribe here!) we asked Angela 10 questions about her experience as a women in politics.
1. What was your first experience of politics / political life?
My first experience of elected political life was on becoming a councillor at age 24 for my home town of Hamilton. I worked previously for the Scottish Parliament and had studied politics at university.
2. What inspired you to run as an MP?
I ran for Westminster when I was 27, for my home seat which included my council ward. I had the support of many constituents and colleagues, and felt I could make some positive change in the role of MP.
3. What do you hope to achieve in Parliament?
My focus is on equality – for women in all aspects of life, for minority ethnic groups, for disabled people and the LGBT community.
4. What is the hardest thing about running for election?
Stamina. Elections take a long time and require a lot of mental and physical resources.
5. What is your favourite thing about being a woman in politics?
I like being able to inspire other women. I run an internship programme in my constituency office, for both men and women, and it has been great to see them move into jobs within politics. Two of the women who had come through the programme are now councillors.
6. What one thing would you change about Parliament to improve access for women
Parliament can often be highly confrontational, and I think that puts a lot of people off. While this is not a problem exclusive to women, it’s not a nice experience for a women to hear men shouting over her while she is trying to speak.
7. Why is it important to have a gender-balanced Parliament?
Parliament makes decisions that affect all of us, and therefore needs to be representative. The UK population is more or less 50:50 and so Parliament should be as well.
8. What has been your proudest moment as a woman in politics?
Being able to campaign for real, positive change for women, such as closing the gender pay gap in my local council and fighting for change in the Child Maintenance Service for parents who have escaped domestic abuse.
9. What advice would you give women considering running for office?
The best advice is to be prepared: know your subject matter inside out, be confident in what you are saying, and stand up for what you believe.
10. Which woman do you most admire?