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All of Engender’s latest news. Reports, reviews, books, articles, and information from across Scotland’s women’s sector.

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Should CEDAW be incorporated into Scots Law?

How can women's rights be better realised in Scotland

Today Engender launched a paper, written by Professor Nicole Busby and Professor Muriel Robison discussing whether incorporating CEDAW into Scots Law would result in better realisation of rights for women in Scotland. It explores what impact incorportion would have on women's equality, sets out how incorporation could happen, and discusses other legal mechanisms which might be needed for women's rights to be fully realised in Scotland

The paper was launched at an event in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law at Strathclyde University.

Speaking at the launch, Engender's Executive Director Emma Ritch said:

"We're delighted to launch this paper which shows that CEDAW, the UN bill of rights for women, should be incorporated into Scots Law; ensuring the maximum protection and promotion of women's rights we can. For 25 years Engender has been working for women's equality, and throughout this work it is clear that women's rights are not some abstract concept, but integral to all aspects of women's daily lived. The rights which are meant to be protected under CEDAW are being violated every day, and now is the time to ensure that we take every measure we can for women's equality."

Scotland in solidarity with Northern Ireland

Engender's Emma Trottier & Alys Mumford set out why it's so important that Scottish MPs take action for Northern Irish women.

Abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Imagine two women; one lives in Belfast; the other in Edinburgh. Both women have decided to terminate their pregnancy. The one in Edinburgh is covered by the 1967 Abortion Act. She’ll need to seek approval from two doctors before proceeding, and has other barriers to overcome, but she has access to a safe and legal abortion. For the woman in Northern Ireland, the situation is one of the worst in the western world. The abortion law dates to 1861, so it’s hardly surprising that terminations are heavily restricted: an abortion is only available if there is a serious, permanent or long-term risk to the life or health of the woman. For the woman in Belfast, a termination will involve extensive planning and travelling, as well as emotional and financial costs. As she cannot exercise her reproductive rights at home, she will have to leave and travel across the sea to terminate her pregnancy, purchase illegal medicine online, or continue with an unwanted or unviable pregnancy.

A referendum in Northern Ireland isn’t the answer to free, safe and legal abortion

Emma Trottier, Engender's Policy and Parliamentary Manager sets out why Northern Ireland doesn’t need a referendum to realise women’s reproductive rights; it needs Westminster to take action.

repeal the 8th

The images of the Yes campaign in Ireland are still imprinted in my mind: pictures of women campaigning under banners of “Together for Yes”; the bold white “REPEAL” letters on black jumpers; the red heart emblazoned with “Repeal the 8th”; and #hometovote. It was only last week that the Yes campaign won, but it already feels like an age. Almost as soon as the last constituency results were announced, our collective gaze shifted north to focus on the punitive, regressive law that remains in place in Northern Ireland. While mainstream attention to the abortion law in Northern Ireland is long overdue, confusion has set in over how women’s reproductive rights can be realised in Northern Ireland.

Women’s organisations disappointed by Lord Bracadale’s recommendations, seek further dialogue with Scottish Government

Engender, Rape Crisis Scotland, and Scottish Women’s Aid are disappointed by the recommendations in the inquiry’s report. The question of how to tackle misogynistic online abuse, sexual harassment in public spaces, and incitement to misogyny is one being raised worldwide. Women and girls face epidemic levels of misogynistic hate in schools, in the workplace, on city streets, and online. We called for a standalone misogynistic hate crime to be created in Scotland as a way of disrupting this epidemic.

Reflections on #RepealThe8th

Repeal Dublin

At the start of the month, I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland with several other women from Scotland to lend a hand with the campaign to Repeal the 8th amendment and allow women to access abortion in Ireland.

It was an amazing weekend and the campaign feels so positive – on our first day we joined 175 volunteers delivering leaflets across Dublin. With one week to go until the referendum, I’ve written a few thoughts about my time there.

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Related publications

Gender Matters in Social Security: Individual Payments of Universal CreditGender Matters in Social Security: Individual Payments of Universal Credit A paper calling on the Scottish Government to automatically split payments of Universal Credit between couples, once this power is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Gender Matters Manifesto: Twenty for 2016Gender Matters Manifesto: Twenty for 2016 This manifesto sets out measures that, with political will, can be taken over the next parliamentary term in pursuit of these goals.

Scottish NGO Briefing for UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against WomenScottish NGO Briefing for UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women Joint briefing paper for the UN Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

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