Scottish Government accepts actions required to create gender equal society

The First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls celebrates support of key recommendations designed to drive change

The First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) has welcomed Nicola Sturgeon’s proactive response to its 2020 report this week.

Accepting the third in a set of three annual reports, the First Minister has agreed to implement The NACWG’s recommendations together, as a bold package, to drive forward gender equality in Scotland. This signals a major step for Scotland in its work towards creating a truly inclusive society.

Published in January this year, The NACWG’s 2020 Report and Recommendations urged the Scottish Government to advocate for the full devolution of equality legislation and policymaking. Just one of five recommendations made to the First Minister to build on its previous proposals, covering everything from education to the legal system and childcare, to be actioned together to make Scotland a more equal place.

The other recommendations included within the 2020 Report and Recommendations under the themes of leadership, accountability and creating conditions for change, reflect The NACWG’s aim to create an intersectional gender architecture, including:
• The integration of Gender Budget Analysis into the Scottish Budget process
• The establishment of an Equality Focused Review Body in the Scottish Parliament
• The introduction of additional requirements for listed Public Bodies to advance equality between protected groups
• The appointment of a Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Commissioner tasked specifically with scrutiny of Women’s Rights

Since 2017, The NACWG has worked with communities, activists, academics, leaders of public services, and members of the public in Scotland to explore gender inequality and produce a package of ambitious recommendations to be taken forward collectively to deliver tangible systemic change. All recommendations delivered by The NACWG to date have now been accepted by the First Minister, with much work already underway in implementing these changes.

Co-chair Louise Macdonald OBE, who has led The NACWG throughout its initial three-year term, said: “When The NACWG launched, we made a bold pledge to help design a future

where gender inequality is a historical curiosity, creating a Scotland where we’re all equal. While every one of us has a role to play, change must be driven from the top. That is why it is encouraging to see the First Minister support and implement the delivery of our recommendations.”

Co-chair Dr Ima Jackson added: “We spent a lot of time listening to organisations and people from all walks of life about the inequalities they were facing and working hard to tackle. This helped shape The NACWG’s recommendations over the last three years, which are focused on systemic change. The adoption of these recommendations is a tangible step towards creating a gender equal society.”

Earlier this year, The NACWG presented its vision for the future, laying out the rationale for developing a model which sees it move into an accountability and scrutiny role for a further three years. Confident in the power of its package of recommendations, The NACWG now wants to push forward the implementation of these systemic changes required to tackle gender inequality in Scotland. Work is underway to develop phase two of The NACWG’s activity.

The NACWG’s reports and recommendations can be read in full on: and the Scottish Government response can be read in full here: