The Scottish Government has demonstrated a strong record in delivering for Scotland on the issues that matter most to people: boosting economic growth and creating jobs, protecting the NHS, reducing crime, expanding childcare, investing in infrastructure, increasing access to higher education, protecting the environment and in supporting a range of measures that advance social justice, equality and human rights.
Our Programme for Government continues to build on our aim of creating a more successful Scotland and speaks to the values Scotland holds at its core. It reflects our commitment to equality and opportunity by delivering a strong sustainable economy and supporting a fairer society. We believe these go hand in hand and are underpinned by our desire to create jobs and tackle inequalities to ensure opportunity for all. It also highlights the importance we attach to people being more involved in the life of our country and empowered within their communities. Our Scottish Economic Strategy frames the Programme with a focus on inclusive growth through the mutually supportive pillars of competitiveness and tackling inequality.
Equality remains at the heart of our ambitions and our work. It informs our spending plans and is an integral part of the way we do our business as an organisation. This report provides an update on how we are continuing to improve our performance and making progress towards achieving the equality outcomes we set in 2013.
Since we published our last report so much has happened. 2014 was an extraordinary year, with Scotland delivering an exceptional Commonwealth Games, a year of Homecoming, the successful Ryder Cup and the biggest demonstration of participatory democracy anywhere in Europe in recent times. And for the first time the Scottish Government has a gender-balanced Cabinet - demonstrating the change we want to see.
We have made progress across a range of our activities but we are never complacent. We know that some of the challenges that face our communities are deep-rooted and long-standing and may not be resolved quickly or easily. What is important is that we are up to the challenge and are interested in the long-term success of Scotland not short-term fixes. That is why we will continue to work hard in pursuit of real change and improvement to the lives of people in Scotland and to be as good as we can be in our policy and practice.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights
Email: Mainstreaming Equality Team, MainstreamingEquality@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House