Our Recommendations

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. As well as changing systems and ensuring gender equality is woven into the fabric of current and new workforces, we need to concentrate on parents and carers, including parents-to-be and the most significant service in a child’s life: the education and learning system. As well as making this long-established system universally gender competent, we need to ensure there are no conflicting messages and the standards are clear.

Here are the recommendations The NACWG has made in the area of Leadership.

  • Create a ‘What works?’ Institute to develop and test robust, evidence-led inclusive and representative approaches to changing public attitudes in Scotland to girls and women’s equality and rights.

  • Legislate for local and national candidate quotas for all parties by the 2021 election.

  • Carry out a thematic gender review of the new National Performance Framework as a catalyst for system analysis and change.

  • Creating a culture of gender equality policy-making in the Scottish Government:

    – The creation of a standalone Equalities Directorate along with the ,establishment of “Centres of Expertise” created in all Scottish Government Directorates, on intersectional gender competence.

    – The creation of a senior officials and leaders group.

    – The creation of “Policy-makers National Standards” to support quality standards and accountability on intersectional gender competence in policymaking, with a requirement that all policy and analytical staff will adhere to it.

  • We call on the Scottish Government to integrate intersectional gender budget analysis into the Scottish Budget process, and to give this a statutory footing. We call for an Equality Focused Review Body to be established in the Scottish Parliament.

  • We call for Scottish Government to advocate for the full devolution of equality legislation and policy-making to the Scottish Parliament.


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.

Creating conditions

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.