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Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Gay men in kilts

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Wednesday 6 June 2018.

    Thousands of gay and bisexual men are to be formally pardoned after a new law was passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament.

    Consenting sexual activity between men over the age of 21 was only decriminalised in Scotland in 1981.

    It was a further 20 years before the age of consent for gay men was lowered to 16.

    The new law will pardon men convicted of having consensual sex with other men before it was decriminalised.

    It will also enable men to apply to have convictions for same-sex sexual activity that is now legal removed from central criminal conviction records - with the Scottish government saying it expects about 25 men to do so over the next five years.

    Join us here tomorrow when the Public Petitions Committee takes evidence from ME campaigner Emma Shorter who is calling for a review of the treatment of the condition.

  2. Girls' voices are not just important but vital says equalities secretary

    Ms Constance

    Ms Constance says girls voices are not just important, but absolutely central to the future of this country.

    We must be in the business of real, meaningful and lasting change, asserts the minister.

    Women's representation in parliament and local government is not enough, she states.

    She expresses pride at passing the Gender Representation on Public Boards Bill earlier this year.

  3. Background: Group to examine gender inequality in Scotland

    Man and woman on scales

    In November, a new group was set up to examine how women and girls can reach their full potential says it hopes it can be a "catalyst" for change.

    The council has been created to advise the Scottish government on how it can tackle gender inequality.

    It will be chaired by Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said securing equality was a "moral obligation", as well as making economic sense.

    Read more here.

  4. Minister warmly congratulates Citizen Girl campaign

    Image caption: The minister tells girl guides in the gallery this is their parliament

    Equalities Secretary Angela Constance begins by saying she enjoyed every minute of Alison Johnstone's "absolute rant".

    Ms Constance says it is very remarkable to hear how Girlguiding Scotland has changed over the years.

    The minister says: "I am really, really pleased to add my congratulations on behalf of the Scottish government to Girlguiding Scotland and Women 50:50 on on the launch of their Citizen Girl campaign."

    She warmly welcomes the girl guides to the gallery, telling them this is very much their parliament

  5. Background: Girlguiding overhauls badges to help girls 'thrive'


    Girlguiding is planning a huge overhaul of its programme, with classic badges replaced by new ones with titles liable to puzzle older generations.

    So far, 15,000 girls have put forward ideas for new badges, including App Design, Vlogging and Upcycling.

    Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, one of several "inspirational women" involved, suggested a Resilience badge.

    Girlguiding might be more famous for less adventurous badges like Homemaker and Hostess but they also have a long tradition of groundbreaking badges.

    Read more.

  6. Green MSP welcomes Citizen Girl

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone begins by insisting it was "only yesterday" when she was a girl guide!

    As a founding member of Women 5050, she welcomes the fact the campaign has linked up with Girlguiding Scotland on Citizen Girl.

    Ms Johnstone recalls that during her time in local government, a male councillor once referred to a female colleague in the chamber as a "fishwife".

    This would not be acceptable today, she states.

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    We do not consult with young people well enough on the decisions we take, suggests the MSP.

    We must also talk about how women are represented in the media or as experts in the media, she argues.

    "A real bugbear of mine is the absolute lack of visibility of women in sport."

  7. Background: Girlguides join 'period poverty' campaign


    Girlguiding Scotland is to collect wash bags and toiletries for food banks in a bid to end so-called period poverty.

    The charity, whose stated aim is to empower and inspire young women, said no-one should be forced to go without sanitary products because of cost.

    They will also make towels and tampons available at local meetings in an effort to end the stigma of periods.

    It follows growing calls to improve access to sanitary products for women on low incomes.

    Read more here.

  8. The Citizen Girl campaign empowers girls says Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
    Image caption: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says it is very important we encourage girls to put themselves forward to become future leaders.

    Ms Grant warns that with toys we brainwash children into roles and gender stereotype them.

    The Citizen Girl campaign empowers girls, says the Labour MSP.

    "There should be no barriers to what a girl or a women should aspire to."

  9. Background: New law on gender balance passed

    Board room

    New legislation that aims to ensure an equal gender balance on many public sector boards was passed by the Scottish Parliament in January.

    Women make up just over 50% of the Scottish population, but currently make up only 45% of public board membership.

    The new law sets an objective for at least 50% of non-executive members on all boards to be women by 2022.

    The legislation was passed by 88 votes to 28, with the Scottish Conservatives voting against.

    Read more here.

  10. More work needs to be done on getting women into public life says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Alison Harris
    Image caption: Tory MSP Alison Harris

    Tory MSP Alison Harris highlights it had been 100 years since the first women were given the vote, yet women are still underrepresented in politics.

    It is obvious more work needs to be done to bring more women into public life, she states.

    While parties may disagree on how best to do this, we are united on the need to promote gender equality, Mr Harris explains.

    She points to her own party's Women2Win initiative, which aims to support female candidates.

    Opportunities must also be available for women to take part in business and the media too, she argues.

    Mary Pitcaithly, the first ever female chief executive of a Scottish council, retires this month
    Image caption: Mary Pitcaithly, the first ever female chief executive of a Scottish council, retires this month. Ms Pitcaithly was also the chief counting officer for the independence referendum.

    The Tory MSP highlights that Mary Pitcaithly, the first ever female chief executive of a Scottish council, retires this month.

    She leaves knowing there is now almost an equal gender split among council chief execs, Ms Harris concludes.

  11. Background: What are the asks?

    Girl guides

    Citizen Girl calls for:

    • Political parties to commit to gender equality by putting forward 50% female candidates in local, Scottish and UK elections
    • Politicians at all levels to consult with young people on all of the decisions that impact their lives
    • Businesses, public bodies, voluntary organisations in Scotland to commit to increasing female representation in management and creating opportunities for the next generation of girls to take the lead

    Leaders from across Scotland’s political spectrum have backed the campaign.

  12. 'Girls, we can't let them win'

    SNP MSP Ruth Maguire
    Image caption: SNP MSP Ruth Maguire

    SNP MSP Ruth Maguire tells the chamber the online abuse faced by any woman putting her head above the parapet can be terrifying.

    Ms Maguire says: "I know first hand that it is not always easy, but girls, we can't let them win."

    "Your voice is too important to be silenced."

    She goes on to say: "Stick together and you will be unstoppable"

    Ms Maguire concludes: "Politics is for you your voices are important. Go for it girls, you'll be awesome."

  13. 'There still aren't enough of us in the room'

    Public gallery
    Image caption: A busy public gallery for tonight's debate

    SNP MSP Ruth Maguire welcomes a number of organisations to the gallery, including the Women 5050 campaign and Girlguiding Scotland.

    Citizen Girl is about encouraging girls to take action, and call for real and meaningful change, Ms Maguire explains.

    57% of girls under the age of 21 don't think politicians represent them, she highlights.

    "There still aren't enough of us in the room. And it's really hard ot be what you can't see."

  14. Here is the motion........

    Here is SNP MSP Ruth Maguire's motion.

    It highlights:

    • the new Citizen Girl campaign designed to empower girls
    • how gender stereotyping concitinues to have a negative impact
    • calls for political parties to committee to 50% of candidates being women
    Ruth Maguire's motion