National Committee 2017 - 2018

National Committee 2017/18

Following the recent elections, the following women have been elected to National Committee for the year 2017/18.

 

Aileen McKay

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I am (proudly) not a member of any political party, preferring to act independently. In the last few years I have: registered voters from the homeless community; run the campaign to save the Glasgow Concert Hall steps; facilitated non-confrontational discussion spaces on the streets of Glasgow; advocated for women’s rights on national radio; and been an international observer for the Catalonian government in Barcelona. 

All of this has confirmed to me that politics works best when it involves listening. I want to serve WFI by getting more women heard: both by listening to them and by finding (or creating) platforms for their voices. 

 

Amy Nicolson & Kathryn Vincent (Jobshare)

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In WfI, we do politics differently, due to family commitments and health, we feel we could better contribute to the National Committee this year as a job share. We are both members of the Indy Quines since the referendum, and are returning members of the 2016/17 National Committee. We would like to develop a few projects which are in their initial stages. These projects focus on increasing every woman’s understanding of politics, providing better access to the debate for those outside the central belt, and exploring how to expand the movement to women who haven’t shown interest yet.

 Amy is a teacher, leader of the Indy Quines, and member of the SNP.

Kathryn is a data analyst with a background in Social Sciences, and member of the Greens.

 

Anne McLaughlin

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I have campaigned for Independence for all of the last 29 years and twice I've been elected to parliament.

But it wasn't until I was elected first time round (in 2009) that I truly understood the nature of misogyny. I opened my eyes and they've stayed open.

Now, I see and hear it and experience it all the time.

And now, no matter how subtle, I am on it!

Now, I get why many women are put off political campaigning.

Since the 2017 general election I’ve been involved in training women in leadership skills and democracy in Asia. Before the 2015 general election I trained hundreds of people in ‘Talking about Independence’ for Yes Scotland.

I want to use my experience as a political activist AND as a woman AND as a professional trainer to support and encourage women in a political environment.

 

Christine Duncan

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I believe that independence from Westminster could and should make Scotland a fairer, greener and healthier place for all who choose to live here.

I grew up in the east end of Glasgow, experiencing first hand the effects of poverty on families and communities. I now live in an affluent and rural area of Scotland where much work is needed to raise the issue of social justice alongside those of rural isolation and access to public services.

I have worked in the NHS for over forty years - much of this has involved the planning and delivery of services for women and children. Latterly I have had roles in policy development within the Scottish Government and in national work to reduce health inequalities across Scotland.

Colette Walker

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I am registered blind, lone parent / carer to my 16 year old son who is totally blind, profoundly autistic 

I am woman / equalities officer within my snp Eastwood group 

I am vice chair of ERDA ( East Renfrewshire Disability action) 

I am a member of three CPG’s disability , visual impairment , Carers 

 I took part in the parliamentary project ( woman in politics ) 

Attending WOW. Conference in Perth 27-29 October doing a workshop with inclusion Scotland on issues with being  an woman activist 

I am working with a few disabled independent supporters to set up a disability for yes committee to encourage anyone with disabilities to campaign with confidence and discuss how we see living with disability in an independent Scotland 

 We need independence for the future generations , better human rights /equality for all 

 Woman , especially disabled woman need a greater role within politics.

 

Erin Mwembo

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I am 16 years old and I live in North Berwick. I am currently in my 5th year of high school. I've been involved in politics for over 2 years and over this time I have gained great experience in campaigning and policy work. As a young person, I can bring a fresh voice for young women to the table. I have the drive and determination to put to use in strategizing for an independent Scotland. I also believe it's important that young people are at the forefront of political decision making across Scotland and that our opinions are valued and represented. Independence and feminism are two of the causes that I feel most strongly about and having them both combined in an organisation is extremely exciting and empowering. With independence looming, I would love to play a part in shaping my future and Scotland’s.

 

Julie Bell

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I’m self-employed as a therapist, a former broadcaster, NHS communications specialist and employee health and wellbeing adviser.

In May, I was elected to Angus Council for the SNP – I would never have achieved it without WFI, WFIAngus and the support of so many amazing women. I sit on our Community Justice Partnership (thanks to WFI Justice Watch), Children and Learning; and Communities committees.

I want to pay it forward and help more women into public life – if I can support, encourage, coach or mentor just one woman to step outside her comfort zone and follow her dream, I will be thrilled.

We have work to do – the role of WFI in our dream of an independent Scotland is critical and I am delighted to be part of that nationally so we can build a gender-just, socially-just, inclusive society.

 

Kim Nicoll

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I am a lifelong supporter of Scottish Independence and former SNP councillor who joined  Stirling WFI in the run up to the referendum.

Everyone has a voice and everyone is respected-oh and great baking!

We've campaigned on the Tories rape clause and their sexist councillors and donated to local causes.

I'd like to use my time, if elected, to encourage and support existing groups and to fill in the gaps where things have gone quiet.

I work at a women's aid refuge and I've seen the positive impact of devolution-we can achieve so much more with Independence.

We can turn the mibbies into yesies.

 

Lesley Orr

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Women are at the heart of politics as if people mattered and WFI is at the heart of politics for a changing Scotland – a just and welcoming nation where women will be truly equal. I’m proud to have been a member of the National Committee since 2015, helping shape the ways of working, events and campaigns which have made space for women to share stories, build confidence, confront challenges and imagine new possibilities.  On behalf of WFI I’ve spoken at the Scottish Indy Convention (January 2017) and other events, written press articles and book chapters, and led workshops. I hope I’ve made a distinctive contribution to the Committee, as historian, gender justice advocate and sister in the struggle.  I want the opportunity to strengthen and build on those foundations, helping WFI fulfil its potential as the feminist powerhouse Scotland needs on the rocky road to independence.

 

Maggie Lennon

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I want to continue our key campaigns to put women first in Scotland and in particular to develop and shape our “Womanifesto” as we move towards another referendum. I’ve been particularly close to developing the Womens’ Rights are Human Rights theme. I’ve spoken at National Council, AGMs, branches across Scotland and at external events promoting women’s rights, independence and the value of grass roots movements. I have also helped women find their voice through public speaking training for WFI.

I’m founder and Director of the Bridges Programmes, working with asylum seekers and refugees, changing lives every day. Along with my work for WFI, my commitment to social justice and equality is central to me. It’s been one of my greatest honours to serve WFI and I'm delighted to continue to serve you as we move forward!

 

Marsha Scott

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I have worked and volunteered in women’s organisations all my adult life, and I’m especially passionate about ending violence against women – my day job is CEO at Scottish Women’s Aid.  I grew up in New York but have made Scotland my home for 17+ years and wouldn’t live anywhere else (I now hold the world’s two most embarrassing passports!).

I joined WfI in 2013, did a lot of Indyref speaking, and was amazed to be elected to WfI’s first National Committee. Our obligation to the women of Scotland has never felt more important than in these times of Brexit and austerity. To me, Women for Independence is the most important women’s movement since suffrage, and our voice is critical to move Scotland toward an independence that delivers independence for women. I promise to uphold WfI’s principles of Listen first. Talk about things that matter to women. Do politics differently.

 

Rebecca Summers

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I have worked as an advice worker for the Citizens Advice Bureau working on a Maternity Campaign and more recently moved to West Lothian Council where I am working on a Pension Campaign.

Working in the advice sector shows the issues people are having on a daily basis, and highlights the difficulty women have in directing their own lives.  I therefore feel I have a lot to offer the Women for Independence organization and I feel I can represent women at grass roots.  

I am currently the Organiser & Secretary for the Fauldhouse & Breich Valley SNP and I sit on the board for the School Bank West Lothian.  

I want individuals to be able to live their lives, not survive another day and believe this can be achieved by gaining Independence for Scotland.

 

Rosemary Hunter

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I have been lucky enough to be on the National Committee since 2015 and have thoroughly enjoyed my time on it.   

As a member I have worked to promote women into public life, been part of the Justice Watch campaign, attended and held workshops at several National Councils, supported my local groups and represented WFI at various speaking events.  

I have many more ideas I would love to bring forward as we pursue our ultimate aim of independence.

I promise to continue to work hard for our members and towards equality for women.  Drawing on my skills from running my own Independent Financial Advisers business, previous campaigning, and what I have learned in the role to date.

 

Susan Lyons

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I grew up in Lancashire and have lived in Highland for 20 years. I’ve been a member of WFI since 2012 and was on the first National Executive. I'm an anti poverty campaigner and a bit of a nerd on social security and I love WFI and the work we do. I'm  passionate about rural issues and you might have seen me welcome you to the NC meeting in Inverness. I feel the National Committee has missed having a Highland Rep and I would love  to rectify that. As well as politics, I work for a mental health charity,  I blog,  I’m doing  a degree in Sustainable Development, I’m a member of a Medieval Reenactment Group, I have five children aged between 28 and 8 and I hold the best Burn’s Party In Inverness. Life’s never dull.

I'll be a strong voice for women in rural Scotland.

 

Suzanne McLaughlin

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I’m Suzanne McLaughlin, owner and operator of Yesbar & Liberté in Glasgow City Centre. I have always believed standing up to be counted, no matter the personal or professional risks, as I did when i put my business on the line changing its name to lend my support to the YES campaign. In proud WFI fashion. I speak the truth even if my voice shakes.

I’m proudly on the Board of Directors of Engender Scotland & have a burning desire to see Abortion free, safe & legal in Scotland.

I have always been an active feminist, ast although we are the majority of society we are still largely excluded from positions of power and influence. I fight to change that.

Mum of 3, one daughter is autistic, I’m a trade unionist, organised & generous a lover of books,croche, politics.

Yesbar Owner, Trade Unionist,

 

Victoria Heaney

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I'm proud to have been given a platform from Women for Independence, that allowed me to create the trailblazing historic research project #FreePeriodScotland.
It has been an honour to represent WFI on a National and International basis, taking our message out with our bubble and reaching those we need to take us into the future.
From being the first person in Glasgow to start equal pay claims for women in Glasgow City Council. To Crusading for Menstrual Justice, it's clear that I never stop grafting for women. I do politics differently and take pride in being non -partisan. Which I believe is a strength much needed to engage in a wider debate. 
I love Women for Independence/ Independence for Women and want to continue #graftingforWFI. 

Zara Munro

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I’m from East Kilbride and 17. I always loved politics at school and I'm now following that by studying social sciences at college. I have also been on my local youth council for a year. Age, gender and sexual orientation are all often seen as barriers. I hope to show that’s not always the case. The first political meeting I went to was my local Women for Indy branch after gaining the confidence and encouragement to know that it is ok for women to get involved in politics. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching all the work inspirational women across all generations have done through Women for Indy and would love to have a greater part in that as a voice from the younger generation. I will be able to provide a strong experienced voice for our lgbt+, student and youth members.