National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) 2019 - report and recommendations: SG response

Scottish Government's Response to the First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) 2019 Report and Recommendation on Policy Coherence. The recommendations are challenging the Scottish Government to do more to tackle gender inequality in Scotland.

Summary of our response

NACWG Recommendation / Our Response

1.1 The creation of a standalone Equalities Directorate along with the establishment of “Centres of Expertise” created in all Scottish Government Directorates, on intersectional gender competence.

Accept: We have created a new Directorate of Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights and will consider options for delivering ‘centres of expertise’ throughout the Scottish Government as part of our work to develop a strategy to mainstream equality and human rights, building on learning from the establishment of an initial centre which is being developed within the DG Economy family. 

1.2 The creation of a senior officials and leaders group.

Accept: We will establish a new group, giving consideration to its relationship with existing senior structures, such as the Scottish Government Executive Team and Directors’ Network, and the Scottish Leaders’ Forum.

1.3 The creation of “Policy-makers National Standards” to support quality standards and accountability on intersectional gender competence in policymaking, with a requirement that all policy and analytical staff will adhere to it.

Accept: We will build on the framework provided by the Policy Profession Standards to identify ways to ensure that policy-makers have increasing access to tools, resources and training to deliver gender competent policy which embeds equality and human rights, as part of our strategy to mainstream equality and human rights. In doing so we will be informed by the findings of a literature review commissioned by the Office of the Chief Social Policy Adviser on other governments’ approaches to assessing different policy impacts, to be published early in the new year.

2.1 We recommend Scottish Ministers deliver an Annual Statement, followed by a debate, on Gender Policy Coherence to the Scottish Parliament.

Accept: We will develop options for delivering an annual statement and debate to the Scottish Parliament, including how we might align this with the existing legal duty on Scottish Ministers to publish a report on progress to better perform the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012.

3.1 The Scottish Government, Local Government and Public Bodies should build on existing work already underway (Scottish Approach to Service Design) to create a genuine effort in co-production of policy-making with evidence of lived experience at its heart.

Accept: Within the Government’s Programme for Scotland 2020-21 we have committed to take steps to ensure that the voices of people with lived experience shape our approach and policies in relation to equality and human rights. We propose to develop an approach that is based on learning from previous and current Scottish Government lived experience models, as well as models utilised successfully in the UK and internationally. We will work closely with key stakeholders in this area and it will form a key component of our strategy to mainstream equality and human rights

3.2 Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission consider producing a set of scrutiny principles to support this methodology/approach for public bodies, similar to their recent “Principles for Community Empowerment”, (linked to the Policy-makers National Standards).

Support: While this recommendation is for Audit Scotland and the Accounts Commission to consider, we are supportive in principle.

3.3 We recommend adequate resourcing to enable the collection and analysis of robust intersectional data.

Accept: Within the Government’s Programme for Scotland 2020-21 we have committed to develop an equality and human rights mainstreaming strategy, which is underpinned by a comprehensive approach to improving data collation and analysis. Initial work is already underway to further understand the barriers and opportunities for data collection in the public sector. This work will report in February 2021 and will set an agenda for onward data development.



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