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Scottish Women's Aid Analysis of Local Authority Gender Equality Schemes

A report of Scottish Women's Aid's analysis of all local authority Gender Equality Schemes in Scotland highlighting the extent to which current schemes include measures to tackle violence against women.

The Equality Act 2006 placed a statutory duty - the Gender Equality Duty (GED) introduced in 2007 - on all public bodies when carrying out their functions to have due regard to the
need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment; and
  • promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

To support progress in delivering this duty public bodies have a specific duty to publish a Gender Equality Scheme (GES) which sets out their priorities and objectives to further gender equality. Progress on meeting the objectives in the GES is reported on annually and the scheme is revised every three years - with the first revision due by the end of June 2010.

The EHRC published guidance on meeting the GED for public bodies, and made it explicit that addressing violence against women is crucial for tackling the causes and consequences of gender inequality.

Key Findings

  • Only 4 Gender Equality Schemes state that violence against women or domestic abuse is a cause and consequence of gender inequality.
  • In 9 GESs addressing violence against women is not a stated priority.
  • Only 14 GESs have more than one objective relating to violence against women and indicate how these objectives will be met.
  • 10 GESs refer to children and young people who experience/witness violence, but only 5 contain objectives relating specifically to children and young people.
  • Less than half of all local authorities have a published and up-to-date violence against women or domestic abuse strategy.
  • The main focus of the GESs is on domestic abuse. Where violence against women terminology is used, the majority of objectives still relate specifically to domestic abuse.
  • This analysis reiterates our previous concerns on how national policy is led, implemented and monitored at a local level.
SWA analysis of Local Authority Gender Equality Schemes.pdf
Added: February 5, 2015
63.44 KB



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