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.

End Word: Permanent Secretary

Through its 2019 report, the National Advisory Council on Women and Girls holds a mirror to government. It challenges us to look closely at how we go about our day to day work, advising Ministers, supporting the effective running of government and delivering high quality public services across Scotland

It delves into the policy-making environment with all of its inherent complexities and layers. It asks, are we doing everything possible to ensure that our policies are gender sensitive? Have they been developed with a strong understanding of how the policy will impact on the equality and human rights of women and girls, using available data and evidence, shaped by the voices of people with lived experienced? In other words, will they make Scotland a more equal place for women and girls?

Policy-making needs to be approached with humility. As policy-makers we cannot rely on knowing all of the ways in which a policy will affect different groups of people. Which is why this analysis must be built into the policy-making system and why speaking to people with lived experience is so important.

We do have strong foundations within the Scottish Government and policy-makers have a range of training and guidance available to them. But we need to build on this and make equality and human rights the beating heart of policy development, and something that comes as naturally to those designing our services and institutions as organising their staffing and budgets. We owe it to Ministers and to ourselves to deliver policies to the best of our abilities, but more importantly we owe it to the Scottish people to design policies which work for them, all of them, leaving no one behind.

As the Head of the Civil Service in Scotland I welcome the challenge that has been put to government and I look forward to continuing to work with the Advisory Council and with colleagues across the Scottish Government and the wider public sector to create the more equal Scotland we all aspire too.



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