Foreword by First Minister
It is my pleasure to offer a few words to the progress report of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce.
I was delighted to able to launch this initiative at the Royal Highland Show 2017, in response to the Women in Farming and Agriculture Sector research.
The research affirmed that women are an inherent and critical part of Scotland’s farming and agriculture sector but are a group whose strengths and contribution remain somewhat marginalised. It has provided a solid foundation upon which to act – and I feel strongly that government has a moral obligation to act to address gender inequality right across our society and economy.
There is no doubt, that women play a much valued and valuable role within the farming and agriculture sector in Scotland. However, inequality in the sector and invisibility in leadership roles stops women in rural Scotland from achieving their full potential. That holds us back as a nation and damages the rural economy.
I expect the Taskforce to help deliver solutions that support the achievement of gender equality in Scottish agriculture. It is already offering a strong and challenging voice, exploring innovative and thoughtful solutions to achieve progress.
I hope that the taskforce’s work in the short term will help introduce longer term change. That change is needed to help us to move to a culture which enables women and girls within farming to be more empowered and for the sector to make the most of the undoubted skills and abilities they have to offer.
I am extremely encouraged with progress to date, and I look forward with interest to their final report.
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland