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Scotland's Programme for Government - what's in it for women?

In the past week there’s been a slight autumn chill in the air in the mornings, and a pleasing back-to-school vibe in genderland that speaks of newly sharpened pencils and fresh notebooks.

Autumn is a season of new beginnings, as well as mellow fruitfulness, and the last few days has seen the launch of Scotland’s Programme for Government as well as Engender’s own Gender Matters Roadmap.

Guest blog: Indyref and violence against women (Indyref Thursday #4)

By Marsha Scott

In the run-up to our event on 'gender equality, the referendum and beyond', we'll be publishing a weekly blog to correspond with our 'Scotland's futures' briefing papers series.This week, guest blogger Marsha Scott considers implications in terms of violence against women.

Violence against women (VAW) is one of the feminist “Big 3”, alongside women’s poverty and women’s power deficit in public life. The policy context for VAW is perhaps the most devolved, the most significant exception being the no-recourse-to-public-funds rule, which prohibits provision of public assistance for women with uncertain immigration status. It is hard to imagine a post-referendum government in London in the near future that will either change this rule or allow Scotland to make its own rules about eligibility for public benefit. Scottish administrations have demonstrated some political interest in redressing the no-recourse problem in the face of constraints under the Scotland Act, and one could argue that attitudes toward immigrants and immigration policy are likely to support an improved prospect should Scotland vote yes in the referendum.

Scottish women's sector welcomes Equally Safe

Women holding placard saying "End violence against women"A joint statement from Engender, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Womenʼs Aid, Scottish Womenʼs Convention, White Ribbon Scotland, Womenʼs Support Project and Zero Tolerance

In June 2014 the Scottish Government and COSLA launched Equally Safe: Scotlandʼs strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls. This statement to welcome Equally Safe has been jointly produced by key voluntary sector organisations working across Scotland to tackle gender inequality and male violence against women and girls. These organisations are Engender, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Womenʼs Aid, Scottish Womenʼs Convention, White Ribbon Scotland, Womenʼs Support Project and Zero Tolerance.

The launch of Equally Safe is an important step in taking forward work to tackle violence and abuse. We welcome the continued commitment to support interventions, as well as the explicit acknowledgement that preventing violence against women is dependent upon reducing gender inequality in the broadest sense. This strategy makes it clear that all sectors of society have a responsibility to actively work towards preventing male violence and that prevention and equality measures must be embedded across all sectors.

Guest post: Panic in a crisis

Word "panic" on a red background next to a watch

By Clare McFeely

A critique of BBC Panorama’s reporting of the Jimmy Savile case recently appeared as part of the moral panic seminar series. This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is hosting events across a number of UK academic institutions. The Savile post is problematic beyond its inappropriate title: “Lunatics taking over asylums”. Its author relates falling journalistic standards to creation of a modern moral panic, but the actual target of its ire appears to be something else altogether.

Media coverage of Jimmy Savile and other high-profile men accused of historical abuse has uncovered a profound resistance to the notion of the well-documented prevalence of child sexual abuse. Throughout the critique of journalistic standards the post insinuates that false allegations of abuse are an everyday occurrence, that statutory agencies respond immediately and fully to disclosures of abuse, and that believing disclosures is “a bad thing”. So far, a typical reactive rant, but the author of this post is a lecturer in social work who is responsible for preparing social workers for practice, writing for a publication funded by an august funding council.

 

UN Special Rapporteur's appraisal of sexist UK causes stramash

If you've caught a newspaper, TV news report, or spent any time on social media over the last few days, you cannot have failed to notice the storm of protest that greeted Professor Rashida Manjoo's determination that there was sexism going on in the UK.

Professor Manjoo is the UN's Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, an independent and unpaid position with a mandate to identify the causes and consequences of violence against women within a state, and make recommendations for its elimination. The Special Rapporteur reports to the Human Rights Council.

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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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