AS many as 900 women are to stand together for a unique event aimed at getting more females into elected office.

Scotland’s Women Stand will today fill the main chamber at the Scottish Parliament as female MSPs, councillors and activists share the lessons of their political lives with an all-woman audience.

Others will join in at satellite hubs in Lerwick, Lochgilphead, Aberdeen and Stornoway, as still more tune in from home thanks to a live stream from Holyrood.

Not only has every single ticket been snapped up, the event has also generated a waiting list 300 long.

A partnership between YWCA Scotland and The Parliament Project, which aims to encourage more women into office, the day will begin with a welcome from Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani.

Fewer than 40% of current MSPs are women, with men taking up 75% of the country’s council seats.

Fabiani said: “It’s about bringing women together and making them realise that not only can they stand for elected office at any level, whether it be community council right through to parliament, but that they would be so welcome.”

Cabinet secretary Christina McKelvie of the SNP, Glasgow Labour councillor Soryia Siddique and Maggie Sandison, chief executive of Shetland Islands Council, are amongst those taking part in the event, alongside members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and community councils.

Avowedly non-partisan, it will also include representation from the Conservatives, Greens, LibDems and independents.

Organisers want to ensure “no woman is left behind” and Lee Chalmers, director of The Parliament Project, told The National the day – which involves a number of organisations including council body Cosla, charity Deaf Action and Amina, which represents Muslim women – has been “planned to within an inch of its life”.

She said: “Often women will say things like, ‘I’ve thought about getting involved in politics but I don’t know enough about policies, I’m waiting to know more’, or ‘I’m not confident enough, I don’t want to do public speaking’.

“But it’s not often you hear a man saying those things.”

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