Fairer Scotland action plan: progress report 2019

Progress made on the Fairer Scotland action plan published in 2016.


Promoting equality and tackling discrimination and prejudice are fundamental to providing everyone with equal opportunities to contribute, learn, work and live healthy lives.  We are working to eliminate the barriers that prevent participation and divide society, foster good relations and build resilient, cohesive communities.

We are working across government to tackle the structural inequalities that exist to eliminate discrimination, promote genuine equality of opportunity for all.  Our approach empowers individuals and communities to take action and make the improvements they consider necessary for a fairer, more just life.  Increasing inclusion for all supports our ambition for everyone to feel that they belong, can contribute and are proud to call Scotland their home.

More equal Scotland

FSAP 8. We will take action to make democratic institutions more representative of the communities they serve
FSAP 10. We will establish an Advisory Council on Women and Girls
FSAP 11. We will make sure that refugee families who settle here under Family Reunion rules can access crisis grants quickly and efficiently
FSAP 12. We will take forward the implementation of the Race Equality Framework
FSAP 13. We will review and reform gender recognition law so it is in line with international best practice for people who are Transgender or Intersex
FSAP 25. In the first year of the current parliament, we will introduce a Bill to establish domestic abuse as a specific offence

After the success of the Access to Elected Office Fund in the 2017 Scottish local authority elections, we established a Public Appointment Shadowing Placement Programme in June 2019.  This programme, which helps disabled people shadow members of public body Boards, is currently supporting six disabled people.  Each person is mentored by a member of the Board and has the opportunity to take part in discussions and to be involved in sub committees of the Board, the ultimate aim of which is to apply for and secure a public appointment.  The Access to Elected Office Fund will be in place to support disabled candidates for the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections.

The National Advisory Council on Women and Girls published its first report in January 2019.  The report recommendations aim to, amongst other systemic changes, influence public attitudes in Scotland to girls and women’s equality and rights, improve access to justice for women and girls experiencing men’s violence, and embed gender equality in all aspects of learning.  We responded to these recommendations on 26 June, accepting all of them in principle, and are continuing work to take these forward.

Following a consultation in 2018 on the reform of the Gender Recognition Act, we announced in June our next steps on delivering dignity for trans men and women, including our approach to addressing the concerns raised about reform.  We remain committed to taking forward gender recognition legislation in this Parliamentary session.  We will publish a draft Gender Recognition (Scotland) Bill and Equality Impact Assessment by the end of 2019, and will hold a full public consultation on this draft bill.  We have also set up a working group on improvements in relation to non-binary people’s equality as well as a working group considering data on sex and gender. 

As part of our implementation of the Race Equality Framework[42] to tackle racism and promote race equality, we established a Working Group on Gypsy/Travellers.  In October we published a joint action plan[43] with CoSLA outlining what actions we have taken – and the steps we will take – to protect the human rights, and improve the wellbeing and the quality of life of Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland.  Action includes increasing Gypsy/Travellers representation in public life and decision-making in communities as well as £2 million to improve the quality of Gypsy/Traveller sites.

To support the delivery of Family Reunion Crisis Grants, revised guidance[44] on Family Reunion Crisis Grants was published in May 2019 as part of the Scottish Welfare Fund statutory guidance.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 commenced on 1 April 2019.  The Act creates a new offence of abuse of a partner or ex-partner which enables the prosecution of a “course of conduct” of domestic abuse for the first time – enabling physical, psychological and controlling behaviour to be prosecuted at once as a single offence.  A public awareness campaign highlighting that coercive and controlling behaviour is domestic abuse was launched on 1 April to coincide with the Act coming into effect. 

We are supporting Close the Gap to develop the Equally Safe at Work employer accreditation programme to help employers enhance their policies and practices in order to address the barriers women face at work.  The pilot programme, which launched in January 2019, will also enable employers to better support employees who have experienced gender based violence, and work towards creating an inclusive work place culture that prevents violence against women. 


Email: sjsu@gov.scot

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