SCOTLAND’S councils look set to be dominated by men until 2037, unless political parties are willing to take radical action, according to new analysis. 

Women 50:50’s initial review of the 1227 councillors elected last Thursday, found that despite 52 per cent of Scotland’s population being women, just 35% of councillors are women. 

While that’s an increase of 6% from the 2017 election, it’s far behind the Scottish Parliament, where 45% of MSPs are women.

Of the 354 multi-member wards, 85 are represented solely by men. There are just 12 wards where all councillors are women.

Talat Yaqoob, Co-Founder of Women 50:50 said at this rate it would take another three elections until there was equal representation.

She said: "It is positive to see an increase in the number of women councillors across Scotland, particularly as we believe there is also an increase in the number of disabled councillors and those from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds. 

“However, we know this representation of women doesn't go far enough, throughout the election period women candidates told us about the inaccessible cultures within political parties and the sexism they faced. 

“Without real culture and system change, the rate of progress will continue to be glacial. We need local councils to implement change; from policies which support councillors with caring responsibilities to more robust mechanisms to report inequality and discrimination".

Scottish Conservative MSP, Meghan Gallacher said her party had "made huge strides to increase the number of women standing for us in recent years but we still have much further to go."

She added: “We must continue to increase the number of women entering politics to better represent the needs and priorities of the public, to bring new perspectives to our work, and to make our party better and more effective.

“The Scottish Conservatives agree that the current rate of progress is simply not fast enough.

“We understand that a better gender balance won’t be achieved without concentrated effort, which is why we are actively attracting and supporting women to stand for the Scottish Conservatives through Women2Win Scotland and Scottish Conservative Friends of BAME.

“My colleagues and I are committed to championing women in politics at all levels until true gender balance is achieved.”

The SNP's council election campaign director, Cllr Kelly Parry said her party was doing better than most, but still had work to do.

She said:"The examples of sexism and misogyny that we have seen in recent weeks underline how much of a problem this still is - not just in politics but across society.

"We know that this deters women from entering politics or public life, and it must be urgently tackled if we want to see true equal representation in our politics.

"The SNP is taking actions to help see this achieved - we are offering mentoring schemes, training events and leading a government that is one of only a handful in the world whose cabinet is gender balanced.

"I'm glad that we are making progress - with 49% of new SNP councillors being female - but there is more to be done and the SNP will continue working on what further actions we can take.

"We cannot be prepared to wait until 2037, as Women 5050 suggest, until we see these numbers balanced. Every political party has a duty to step up to ensure that our political landscape is fair, diverse and representative of our society – but it's clear that some have got more to do than others."

Scottish Greens equality and human rights spokesperson Maggie Chapman said her party had put forward "a higher proportion of women at this election than any other major party, having done significant behind the scenes engagement with members to encourage more women to stand."

She said: "43% of our elected councillors are now women, a number that is significantly higher than the national average.

"And we elected our first trans woman councillor in Glasgow. There is still clearly much work to be done by all parties to increase the representation of women in politics, not least tackling the structural barriers that are in place, particularly the low pay that councillors currently receive.”