New Measure of Gender Equality in Scotland

Official Statistics published.

Scotland’s new Gender Equality Index, released today by the Chief Statistician, indicates that Scotland has some way to go before full equality by sex and gender is reached.  Its headline score sets a numerical baseline against which future progress can be measured.

Within the new index, Scotland was furthest from full gender equality in the ‘power’ domain, which measures equality between women and men in decision-making positions across the political, economic and social spheres.  Most equality was found in the ‘health’ domain, which covered health status and access to health services. 

The new index also included domains of work, money, knowledge and time. Within the ‘work’ domain, there was most inequality in labour market inactivity due to women bearing more caring responsibilities than men. Occupational segregation also contributed to gender inequality, with more women than men concentrated in the care industries. 

The main driver of inequality within the ‘money’ domain was wealth, which showed women had lower pension wealth than men.  Within the ‘knowledge’ domain the main driver of inequality was subject segregation, particularly for Modern Apprentices, where men were much more likely than women to study STEM subjects. 

The Chief Statistician also released new statistics on Wednesday showing how men and women in Scotland spent their time in lockdown and the subsequent period of restrictions.  Time Use In Scotland 2020 showed that women spent more time on housework, cooking, childcare, and leisure activities with a social element. Whereas men spent more time in paid work and leisure activities that had less of a social element.   

The released figures were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


Scotland’s Gender Equality Index 2020 sets a baseline against which Scotland will be able to measure its future progress towards equality between women and men through time.  It is designed to represent gender equality numerically, with a score of one indicating no gender equality and a score of one hundred indicating full gender equality.  The indicators used in the Index were developed over the course of a three year period by a Scottish Government-led working group with prominent women’s organisations and academics.

The full statistical publication is available at: Scotland’s Gender Equality Index 2020 (

Time Use In Scotland 2020 uses the ONS Online Time Use Survey, a UK wide survey that explores how time is used through online time use diaries. Participants are asked to detail their daily activities, including paid work, unpaid work free-time and personal care.  This report utilises a boosted Scottish sample in order to look at how time was used in Scotland in 2020, with a focus on gender.

The full statistical publication is available at: Time use in Scotland 2020: ONS Online Time Use Survey - gender analysis - (

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland is available.


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