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Engender Parliamentary Briefing Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill Stage 1 Debate

Jul 4, 2024: This is a briefing sent to MSPs ahead of the Stage 1 debate on the Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill. Engender supports the Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill’s intentions to increase the participation of marginalised groups in Scotland’s democratic processes. However, the Bill should be strengthened at Stage 2 to maximise its impact on the representation and participation of women (and others who experience barriers to participation) in elections.

Date of publication: June 2024

equalrepresentation politics womensrights sexandpower
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Engender Supplementary Evidence to the Scottish Parliament Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee on the Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill

Jun 6, 2024: It is vital that our democratic bodies represent the full breadth of Scottish society and that decision-making reflects the diverse needs and experiences of Scotland’s communities. We were grateful for the opportunity to provide written evidence on the Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill at Stage 1. In addition to the points raised in our submission and in our response to the Scottish Government’s March 2023 Consultation, we wish to bring this further evidence to the Committee’s attention for consideration at Stage 1.

Date of publication: June 2024.

equalrepresentation politics
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Engender Response to the Scottish Parliament Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee and Social Justice and Social Security Committee Call for Views on the Housing (Scotland) Bill

May 28, 2024: Scotland is currently experiencing a housing emergency and a worsening homelessness crisis. The combined impacts of austerity, the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis mean many people cannot meet rising housing costs. These issues are disproportionately impacting women, who are already more likely to live in poverty and be unable to meet rising housing costs as they typically have lower average incomes than men. We need the Housing (Scotland) Bill to address the longer-term, underlying issues of increasingly unaffordable rents in the private sector and sustainably strengthen tenants’ rights across private and social renting. This can only be achieved by understanding the gendered differences in experiences of housing security and homelessness.

Date of publication: May 2024.

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Outdated, Harmful, and Never in the Public Interest: The urgent need to modernise Scotland's abortion law and prevent prosecutions

May 21, 2024: Reform of abortion law in Scotland is long overdue. The legal framework which currently governs when an abortion is permitted is made up of a patchwork of laws that stem from as far back as the 17th century. The law is therefore out of step with the experiences of women in modern Scotland for whom abortion is routine healthcare, accessed by around one in three in their lifetimes. The report is informed by input from legal experts and medical professionals, detailing the wide ranging support that exists for decriminalisation. It concludes with clear recommendations for Scottish Government and other key decisionmakers on what the next steps towards a modernised regulatory framework should be.

Date of publication: May 2024.

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Engender Response to the Scottish Parliament Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee Call for Views on the Scottish Elections (Representation and Reform) Bill

Mar 13, 2024: It is vital that our democratic bodies represent the full breadth of Scottish society and that decision-making reflects the diverse needs and experiences of Scotland’s communities. We want to work with the Committee to ensure the Bill is as strong as possible in furthering women and other marginalised group’s political participation and representation. However, we would like to raise our concerns about the limited nature of some specific provisions in the Bill and ask the Committee to consider further action that can be taken to progress equal representation in Scottish
politics.

Date of publication: March 2024

equalrepresentation politics sexandpower
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Engender Parliamentary Briefing International Women’s Day 2024 - #InspireInclusion

Mar 7, 2024: Ahead of this year’s Scottish Government International Women’s Day debate, we ask all MSPs to #InspireInclusion by highlighting the action still required to achieve equal representation for women and all marginalised people in public, cultural and political life. In the majority of spaces where decisions are made, men remain dominant while women are excluded, and as a result, sexism is perpetuated across public life.

iwd sexandpower womensrights media equalrepresentation
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Engender submission of evidence to the Scottish Parliament Health, Social Care and Sport Committee call for evidence on the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill

Jan 10, 2024: Engender has worked on access to abortion care since 2016 and the devolution of this policy area to the Scottish Parliament. During that time, we have identified issues relating to abortion law, access and care that serve to undermine women’s experiences of abortion and impede the full realisation of women’s human rights in Scotland. As such, we recognise the increasing need for this legislation and are strong in our overall support for the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill. We want to ensure that the Bill provides women and healthcare workers with the strongest possible protections, whilst remaining human rights compliant.

Date of publication: January 2024.

abortion health womensrights humanrights
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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence

Nov 28, 2023: This is a briefing for MSPs ahead of the Scottish Government debate marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence in 2023. We welcome this debate as an opportunity for all MSPs to call for a primary prevention approach in all Scottish policymaking. A Scotland free from violence and abuse is possible. However, more strategic action and sustainable investment are urgently required to realise this.

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An Overview of VAWG and the Role of Public Policy in Scotland in Prevention

Nov 28, 2023: This briefing paper examines the prevalence of VAWG and gender inequality in Scotland and highlights the urgent need for integration of a primary prevention approach within the Scottish policy landscape. VAWG is not only a justice or equalities policy issue, but one that all policymakers – regardless of their area of work – must play a role in preventing and ultimately eradicating.

Date of publication: November 2023

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