creating conditions

Our Recommendations

We need to ensure that girls and women are supported to participate fully in all decisions affecting their lives, in all personal, educational and professional opportunities that come their way and in the realisation of their rights – especially those who are the most vulnerable. We also need to ensure that they are safeguarded and supported, at all stages and in all communities of place and practice.

  • Create a Commission on Gender Equality in Education and Learning, covering Early Years, Primary and Secondary Education and Learning, tasked with providing bold and far-reaching recommendations on how gender equality can be embedded in all aspects of learning (from teacher training, to school behaviours/cultures, to the curriculum and CLD practice).

  • Provide 50 hours per week of funded, good quality and flexible education and childcare for all children between six months and five years old.

  • People powered policy-making:

    – The Scottish Government, Local Government and Public Bodies should build on existing work already underway (Scottish Approach to Service Design) to create a genuine effort in co-production of policy-making with evidence of lived experience at its heart.

    – Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission consider producing a set of scrutiny principles to support this methodology/approach for public bodies, similar to their recent “Principles for Community Empowerment”, (linked to the Policy-makers National Standards).

    – We recommend adequate resourcing to enable the collection and analysis of robust intersectional data.

  • Create two ‘Daddy months’ of use-it-or-lose-it paid paternity leave in Scotland, using existing and additional powers transferred by UK Government.

  • Embed gender sensitive approaches in all work relating to programmes developed through the new Scottish Government ‘Scottish Approach to Service Design’ model.

  • Create a ‘Gender Beacon Collaborative’ – made up of Scottish Government, a Local Authority, a public body, a third sector agency and a business to take a holistic and systemic approach to gender equality and work.

  • We call on the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to appoint a Commissioner tasked specifically with promotion and protection of Women’s Rights. This Commissioner would lead work to realise rights for all women and girls as set out in CEDAW, the Istanbul Convention and other international instruments.

  • We also call for the expansion of the mandate of the Scottish Human Rights Commission, with sufficient resourcing, to allow it to take on cases on behalf of individuals.

  • We call for an Equality Focused Review Body to be established in the Scottish Parliament. (we did write to the Parliament about this and received a response warmly welcoming the recommendation and advising that this is something for the next Parliament to consider)

  • We call on the Scottish Government as part of the current review of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) regulations in Scotland to place additional specific duties on listed Public Bodies to:

    – Gather and use intersectional data, including employment and service-user data, to advance equality between protected groups, including men and women;

    – Integrate intersectional gender budget analysis into their budget setting procedures.


Gender inequality is an enduring issue because structures perpetuate it. The Scottish Government; public and third sectors and business need to lead by example and take steps to restructure Scotland to be gender competent to see the desired changes we seek. This is complex and goes beyond training to ensure a gender competent workforce.


Following on from providing leadership, new measures need to be in place to ensure that we develop a gender-competent Scotland, where key services are fit for purpose and deliver equal high-quality provision that realises the potential, regardless of gender, of every citizen.