Foreword by First Minister
I am pleased to welcome the final report of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce.
In 2017, the Taskforce took up my challenge to engage with gender inequality issues in Scottish agriculture. These had been drawn out in the research report on Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector. I asked the Taskforce to bring forward practical solutions to enable Scottish agriculture to start breaking down the barriers faced by women and to inspire them to reach their full potential. This report contains clear and decisive recommendations and I am confident they will bring changes that empower women of all ages to succeed at every level in Scottish agriculture.
Cultural change on this scale requires time and the report recognises this; however, we are already starting to see the impact of their work in the range of conversations already taking place and the changes being introduced by some organisations and businesses voluntarily. This in itself is a signal of the Taskforce's success.
I am proud to lead a government committed to achieving equality for women, reflected through our Programme for Government and Economic Action Plan. It is vital for Scotland's economy that everyone is enabled to develop their talents and skills, and there are many women living and working in Scottish agriculture who have the ability, creativity and determination to help drive the industry. Scottish agriculture cannot afford not to include and involve women's talents more fully and equitably.
In taking forward these recommendations we move closer to the #GenerationEqual envisaged by my National Advisory Council for Women and Girls. We will also be contributing to the sustainability and resilience of Scottish agriculture and the wider rural economy. The Scottish Government will consider and monitor delivery of the recommendations carefully, not least those directed at government. We have already agreed to fund the Women in Agriculture Development Programme (WiADP). I hope that the agricultural industry shows the same commitment to change and takes forward the report's conclusions and recommendations willingly and enthusiastically. #GenerationEqual is not optional: it is an essential building block for Scotland's future.
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP First Minister of Scotland
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