In 2016, The Scottish Government pledged to establish a First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG), to help drive forward action to tackle gender inequality.

The overarching objective of the NACWG was to:

  • Play a leading role in raising awareness of gender inequality in Scotland, drawing attention to the wide range of issues this creates for women and girls in Scotland today.
  • Act as a champion for positive progress and policies that are making a meaningful difference to the lives of women and girls; encouraging Scotland to become a beacon for gender equality around the world.
  • Be a catalyst for change by providing a challenging voice to the First Minister and her team. Identifying gaps in work to tackle gender inequality or ways of increasing the pace and scale of change.

In early 2017, the First Minister appointed Louise Macdonald OBE, (Chief Executive of Young Scot), as independent Chair and in January 2020, Dr Ima Jackson was appointed by the First Minister as Co-Chair with Louise.

The inaugural NACWG meeting took place on 6 December 2017. This full day meeting of the NACWG and our wider Circle produced outputs which helped to develop our initial three year strategy.

We explored three annual topics, submitting reports and recommendations on each to the First Minister:

2018 – Attitudes and Culture Change NACWG report and The Scottish Government response

2019 – Policy Coherence NACWG report and The Scottish Government response

2020 – Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture NACWG report and The Scottish Government response

As the NACWG came to the end of their initial three year strategy, they published their Next Steps Report in March 2021. This outlined their learning over the initial phase along with their suggested way forward for this work. This was accepted by the First Minister and set the stage for Phase Two of the NACWG.

Our Action

NACWG Priorities

Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture

Policy Coherence

Attitudes and Culture Change