WOMEN’s voices must be heard in the debate around a second independence referendum, according to the Scottish Women’s Convention.

The women’s organisation yesterday held a Glasgow-based event – Do women in Scotland want another independence referendum? – inspired by a growing sense from women that more discussion on the issue was needed following Brexit.

In an indicative online survey sent out in advance of yesterday’s debate – which received over 400 responses – 73% said they were in favour of independence, and 52% wanted to see an independence referendum this year.

Scottish Women’s Convention chair, Agnes Tolmie, said that the “overwhelming” response to survey in a matter of days showed the need for women to have more platforms to express views on the independence question.

Tolmie added: “One of the things we noticed off the back of the General Election was the number of men who were taking to the television – senior politicians, ex-politicians – and making statements along the lines that the people of Scotland don’t want a referendum. But as we got to the end of January we were hearing a lot of concerns from women that they wanted to voice. Women that live in rural areas are worried about losing European funding – is there something going to replace that, for example.

“So we threw out a quick online survey and within a couple of days hundreds were women responded. We’re now determined that we want to hear from more women.

“We’re being told we have already had a referendum. But women are telling us: “Yeah, we had a referendum against a background of three senior UK politician – Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown – giving us this pledge, telling us that if we vote to stay in the UK our future in Europe is safe. Of course at the end of January that whole thing unravelled.

“The debate now needs to take onboard women’s concerns. Women are the cleaners, the carers – it’s women who still make society tick. Women are also 52% of the population. If we get out there and vote that can make a difference.”

In 2014 much of the campaigning focussed around attracting votes from women after the Scottish Social Attitudes survey showed that women were more likely to be risk averse and vote No accordingly. Better Together produced a much-mocked advert featuring an “ordinary woman” who told her Indy-supporting husband off for talking politics at the breakfast table, instructing him to “eat your cereal” instead of egging her on to “gamble with my children’s future”. In the Yes camp Women for Independence (WFI) led the way in ensuring women’s voices were represented.

Speaking in favour of another referendum at yesterday’s event, Kirstein Rummery, national committee member for WFI and professor of social policy, argued that while an independent Scotland wasn’t in itself a guarantee of a more equal society it would allow present an opportunity for more women-friendly policies.

“Since devolution in 1999 Scotland has demonstrated it can make better social policies,” Rummery added. “I was neutral in 2014 but I have been persuaded that independence will give us the chance to rewrite our constitution.” During the last independence referendum, she claimed much of the debate was dominated by men. “Now we have strong women who have been politicised and will not go back in their box,” she said.

However, speaking against, Megan Gallacher, Conservative councillor for Motherwell East, said: “Women played an essential role in the last referendum. There is no substantial evidence that women have changed their minds.”