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Ten steps to women’s equality in Scotland

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Engender, 10 steps, Gender Matters Roadmap, equality, women in Scotland, roadmap launchWhat remains now is to see these policies enacted, and commitment to women’s equality made a reality.

A series of measures that could be taken by the Scottish government and other bodies to move towards women’s equality in Scotland by 2030 was launched recently in Glasgow.

A Gender Matters Roadmap has been developed by Engender, Scotland’s feminist policy organisation, in collaboration with the group’s feminists from all around Scotland, and the women’s sector and other stakeholders.

And it was launched at Engender’s two-day conference ‘Scotland’s Feminist Future’ celebrating feminist change in Scotland.

Speaking at the conference, Emma Ritch, executive director of Engender, said: “It’s a very exciting time to be a feminist, and in Scotland we have seen the beginnings of what can be achieved under the leadership of a feminist First Minister.

“As we look around us at life for women in Scotland, it is possible for us to find cause to celebrate – and cause to increase the volume of our calls for women’s equality.

“Because the fact remains that women are hugely unequal in Scotland.

“We are more likely to bear the brunt of social security cute, to take on unpaid caring responsibilities, to work part time for low pay, to suffer violence and abuse, and to face discrimination in all spheres of life.

“This roadmap sets the course for a 2030 where all women in Scotland have more access to power, to resources, and to safety.

“It was created in collaboration with women across Scotland, and builds on the work of the generations of Scottish women who have advocated for women’s rights.

“What remains now is to see these policies enacted, and commitment to women’s equality made a reality.”

Engender works to increase gender equality by tackling the impact of sexism on women, men, children, society and on women’s economic and political development.

Engender’s vision is to secure social and economic equality for all groups of women in Scotland, and the group’s members want to live in a Scotland where:

Women’s rights are realised regardless of ability, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or background;

Women and their children are safe and secure from harm;

Women have equal access to resources and opportunities;

Women have equal influence in political and economic life;

Women are able to participate fully in society and culture;

Women and women’s unpaid and paid work are valued; and

Diverse groups of women are at the forefront of the women’s movement.

The roadmap is divided into 10 themed chapters, arranged alphabetically.

These themes are Care; Education and Training; Employment and the Labour Market; Health; Media, Arts and Sport; Politics and Public Life; Public Space; Social Security; Violence Against Women; and Women’s Rights and a Fair Economy.

The chapters should not be taken to represent all areas of women’s inequality in Scotland, but the ideas appearing in them have emerged through consultation with women and equalities organisations, as well as individuals across the country.

Each chapter contains a number of subsections highlighting key areas where action is needed from Scottish government and other bodies.

Recommendations  set out at the beginning of each subsection have one, two or three stages, representing a linear progression of policy formation and implementation leading up to 2030.

And at the end of each chapter, there is further reading to supplement the information in the roadmap, as well as a ‘see also’ list of chapters containing related recommendations.

Multiple stages can be implemented at a time, and the progression should be seen as a guide, rather than prescriptive timetable.

While these are specific recommendations, it is important that policy-makers do not indertake action for women’s equality without consulting a wide range of women’s and equalities organisations.

The roadmap can be used both for its individual chapters, to guide policy making and implementation in those specific areas, or utilised as a complete document.

Angela Constance MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities was the opening speaker at Engender’s conference and welcomed the launch of the Gender Matters Roadmap.

She said the SNP’s Programme for Government made clear that equality is a priority for this government, and added: “We will not stop, we will not slow down, we will not falter in our pursuit of women’s rights and of a truly equal Scotland.”

To see the full Roadmap, click here.

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