Members' area: Sign in or join Engender
On the Engender: Scotland's feminist policy blog and podcast

Engender blog

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

We would love to hear from other feminists around Scotland. Check out our guidelines for more information on how you can blog for us.

F-words: Virginity and Foreplay

Jenny Lester is a feminist writer and performer. She currently works at Equate Scotland, and has previously worked in women’s rights organisations and mental health charities. She completed an MA in Women’s Studies researching sex education, pleasure, and faking orgasms. In this 'F-words' blog, she'll be discussing the terms ‘virginity’ and ‘foreplay’ and offering some suggestions for less patriarchal alternatives.

Content Note: this blog contains terminology around anatomy and sexual acts, and one instance of a censored swear-word.

GUEST POST: Being a Black Woman in Scotland: A Unique and Complex Experience

In this guest blog, Aleisha Omeike writes for Engender about the need to recognise the unique experiences of Black women. Follow Aleisha on Twitter at aleisha_omeike.

CN: this piece references and quotes racist language and slurs.

Data matters in our response to Covid-19

As Engender continues to work to ensure that women's equality is at the heart of Scotland's response to Covid-19, our Executive Director, Emma Ritch, writes about why gathering the right data is so important.

In every policy area we work across, without exception, a lack of gender-sensitive data undermines the capacity of policy and legislation to meet women’s needs, to treat women fairly, and to bring about women’sOne of the ways in which we are trying to understand Covid-19, and respond to the devastation it has brought to families and communities, is through numbers. The number of tests administered to populations, the numbers of people admitted to hospital, and the numbers of deaths attributable to Covid-19 are reported on rolling news. Readers check the charts produced by data journalists for signs that incidence of the virus has peaked. Numbers are studded through reporting on possible strategies for loosening lockdown while constraining transmission of the virus.

Gender Matters in Health: Inequalities in Childbirth

Earlier this month, our Head of Development Catriona Kirkpatrick attended an International Women’s Day event ‘We Need to Talk about Race’, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) exploring racial inequalities in childbirth in the UK. Here, she writes about the event and how this issue is reflected in Scotland.

GUEST POST: Some thoughts on issues BAME women, including immigrants, face in the UK

Azita Jabbari-Arabzadeh is a BAME migrant women with an extensive background working with BAME women, including migrants and refugees. In this guest blog, Azita explores some of the issues which face migrant women in the UK, with a particular focus on health inequality.

I came across some shocking news regarding the health and the high rate of death of pregnant black women recently, which I believe, together with the news of a higher rate of mental health issues among South Asian women in the UK is at least worthy of some thoughts by the population and certainly worth sharing worth sharing with readers of the On the Engender blog.

Our Bodies Our Rights - speech from Christina McKelvie MSP

Today Engender was planning on hosting a Parliamentary reception to mark the anniversary of our report Our Bodies Our Rights: Identifying and removing barriers to disabled women's reproductive rights in Scotland. Given the developing situation around COVID 19 (also known as Coronavirus), and as the needs of disabled women and carers are at the heart of our work on Our Bodies Our Rights, we took the the difficult decision to cancel this event. While we were incredibly disappointed not to be able to hold the event as planned, we're pleased to be able to share the speech which would have been given by Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equalities and Older People.

"Our shared goal is for all disabled women to have choice, dignity and freedom to live the life they choose, with the support  they need to do so" Christina McKelvie, Minister for Equalities and Older People

#MakingWorkVisible for International Women's Day 2020

Every International Women's Day, we ask women across Scotland to share their days with us, to highlight the unpaid, undervalued, and invisible work done by women in Scotland.

This includes the low-paid (and falsely-named 'unskilled') work which is dominated by women, the unpaid care work happening in houses across the country, household chores which are unevenly distributed (even if men think they are equally shared), and all of the mental labour which women are - say it with me now - "just naturally better at".

Sex and Power 2020

Infographic showing Sex and Power 2020 stats

On the Engender podcast

Find out more about our podcast here.


We are always looking for new voices on our blog.

Please send us your blogs and we can offer editing advice, and we also have some opportunities for paid contributions.

Find out more here