Campaigning for the female vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum: comparing Women For Independence and Women Together

Craig McAngus, Kirstein Rummery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign saw a surge of campaigning activity from groups on both sides of the debate. The mainstream elements of the campaign were criticised for not bringing enough attention to women’s issues, and so Women For Independence (WFI) and Women Together (WT) were created in order to try and alleviate these concerns. This paper aims to compare the two organisations to ascertain whether or not they can be classified as part of wider social movements. Utilising data from the Scottish Political Archive at the University of Stirling, as well as face-to-face interviews and email conversations with activists from both groups, this paper explores the organisational structures and framing strategies of the two groups, as well as the opportunities and constraints they faced when it came to achieving their goals. Whilst WFI can be classified as a Social Movement Organisation operating within both the pro-independence and women’s movements, WT cannot be classified in this way and simply existed as a useful campaigning label during the independence referendum. WFI still continues to exist as a healthy, autonomous entitythat, should a second independence referendum be called, will be in a strong position to campaign for the female vote and overturn the persistent gender gap that exists in support for Scottish independence.
LanguageEnglish
Pages145-168
JournalScottish Affairs
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 27 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

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voter
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women's issues
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Cite this

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abstract = "The 2014 Scottish independence referendum campaign saw a surge of campaigning activity from groups on both sides of the debate. The mainstream elements of the campaign were criticised for not bringing enough attention to women’s issues, and so Women For Independence (WFI) and Women Together (WT) were created in order to try and alleviate these concerns. This paper aims to compare the two organisations to ascertain whether or not they can be classified as part of wider social movements. Utilising data from the Scottish Political Archive at the University of Stirling, as well as face-to-face interviews and email conversations with activists from both groups, this paper explores the organisational structures and framing strategies of the two groups, as well as the opportunities and constraints they faced when it came to achieving their goals. Whilst WFI can be classified as a Social Movement Organisation operating within both the pro-independence and women’s movements, WT cannot be classified in this way and simply existed as a useful campaigning label during the independence referendum. WFI still continues to exist as a healthy, autonomous entitythat, should a second independence referendum be called, will be in a strong position to campaign for the female vote and overturn the persistent gender gap that exists in support for Scottish independence.",
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Campaigning for the female vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum : comparing Women For Independence and Women Together. / McAngus, Craig; Rummery, Kirstein.

In: Scottish Affairs, Vol. 27, No. 2, 27.02.2018, p. 145-168.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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