Scotland’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls has put forward plans to make the country a beacon for gender equality.
Radical plans for Scotland to become a leader in gender equality, including 50 hours free good quality, flexible childcare for all children between six months and five years old and two ‘Daddy months’ of use-it-or-lose-it paid paternity leave, have been unveiled.
The proposals are published in the first report of the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls which was established in 2017 by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
The recommendations of the report are divided into several areas. On leadership, the report proposes the establishment of 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”.
It also calls for quotas for local and national politicians and a thematic gender review of the new National Performance Framework to spark systemic change.
On accountability, the report calls for the creation of a ‘Gender Beacon Collaborative’ – made up of the 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.
Other recommendations include the creation of “a world-leading process for complainers of sexual violence” and “a consistent and inclusive model to ensure that women experiencing domestic abuse have sufficient access to expert legal advice and legal aid”. The report also takes aim at media representation of women and calls for the creation of a resourced media body in Scotland to hold the media to account and provide guidance on gender equality.
Education is a key focus with calls for a Commission on Gender Equality in Education and Learning, covering Early Years, Primary and Secondary Education and Learning which would embed gender equality in all aspects of learning.