AMIDST the economic carnage of Covid and Diego Maradona’s death, a curious court case which is due to start today may have escaped most people’s attention this week.

 In it, campaigners For Women Scotland (FWS) are challenging the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018.

The Act is supposed to improve gender equality within Scottish public bodies, by requiring 50 per cent of non-executive board members to be women.

But FWS argue that it has been used to bring in legal “self-identification of sex” by the back door, and say the Scottish Government has redefined the definition of a woman in the legislation.

Now, I am going to sidestep this particular issue with the grace of a Diego Maradona mazy run into the box given the highly toxic nature of the subject.

 The legal challenge by FWS is, after all, self-explanatory and does need my input at all, as I am completely unqualified to comment.

What it does show, however, is the increasingly bitter debate between the extremes of those that champion women’s rights and those that support transgender equality.

There appears to be no middle ground at all between the two, even though on the face of it they are arguing about roughly the same thing in principle.

It’s also worth looking at the Act itself, which passed without much fanfare at Holyrood in 2017 and became law the following year. It set a 50% target for female representation among non-executive board members by 2022 and it was met last year, three years ahead of schedule.

Of 680 regulated ministerial appointments made to public boards, 341 were women – up from 45% in 2016. The achievement applies to health boards, enterprise agencies, the Scottish Police Authority, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, colleges and universities.

This encompasses 89 boards and women now make up half or more of the membership on 57 of them.

In anyone’s language that should be seen as job done. But what it doesn’t specify is how many of the appointments are transgender, if any.  It shouldn’t matter, but it does to some and so, the rather curious court case will go ahead and we will all learn some more about things we didn’t think we needed to learn until now. It may not be pretty but the outcome is actually pretty important, so strap yourselves in.