Scotland's Global Affairs Framework

The Global Affairs Framework sets out the values and principles underpinning the Scottish Government’s international work and the basis on which the Scottish Government will prioritise its international activity.

3. Gender equality

The Scottish Government is working to ensure that no one in Scotland is denied rights or opportunities because of their gender. We believe that our policies and actions abroad should be consistent with our focus on equality, inclusion and human rights at home.

Global crises and threats, such as disease, conflict and climate, create and exacerbate inequalities around the world. For example, COVID-19 has worsened gender inequality, as women and girls are more likely to provide the majority of care giving, while generally earning less and holding less secure jobs, which therefore impacts upon their economic independence.

Inequalities are felt most acutely by the marginalised. In particular, too often women are excluded from having their say in resolving and addressing the challenges which affect them and society. Our belief in the fundamental importance of universal human rights makes this unacceptable. Any nation which underuses the talent of half of its population or fails to uphold their rights impoverishes itself. Women’s leadership is essential if global challenges are to be successfully addressed.

The Scottish Government’s commitment to women and girls in our international engagement is already clear from our support for work which highlights the importance of women’s participation in promoting peace in conflict affected areas, our funding of scholarships for women and girls in Pakistan, the recognition of gender equality in our Vision for Trade, and the Scottish Government’s leading role in the launch of the Glasgow Women’s Leadership Statement on Gender Equality and Climate Change.

But we need to go further. We will review Scottish Government policies and programmes where they have an international dimension to ensure that they reflect a feminist approach to foreign policy. And we will seek to learn from other countries in this area and from the experiences and expertise of the Global South.

Through strong partnerships between governments, universities, businesses and civil society we can enable more women and girls to lead on the solutions we need to address global challenges and promote gender equality.

Scotland will contribute to gender equality by taking a feminist approach and empowering women and girls. For example we will develop our Women and Girls’ Empowerment Fund within our International Development Programme.



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