Violence against women is both a cause and consequence of women’s inequality. Violence and the threat of violence impacts on every aspect of women’s lives.

Scotland has world-leading legislation on violence against women, yet at least one in five women in Scotland will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime and an average of four rapes is reported per day.

Access to justice, public protection, child services, housing and specialised support are vital to tackling violence against women and girls in Scotland.

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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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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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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: The Two-child Limit

Oct 6, 2023: This is a briefing for MSPs ahead of the Scottish Government debate on reversal of the UK Government's Two-Child Benefit Limit. We fully support calls to scrap the two-child limit at the UK level, which harms women and children across Scotland, directly pushing many into deeper poverty. In Scotland, we support calls for the Scottish Government to invest in mitigating the UK Government’s policy on grounds of equality and human rights.

Date of publication: October 2023.

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Engender response to the Scottish Government consultation on reforming the criminal law to address misogyny

Jul 26, 2023: Engender welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on reforming the criminal law to address misogyny. Misogynistic behaviour, harassment and abuse continue to significantly constrain the choices and freedom of women and girls while violating their human rights. These types of behaviour, along with all other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), continue to occur at endemic levels in Scotland.

Date of publication: July 2023.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing International Women’s Day 2023 - #EmbraceEquity

Mar 7, 2023: Engender welcomes this year’s International Women’s Day debate on the theme #EmbraceEquity and supports the Parliament’s focus on building equity for women across Scotland. This International Women’s Day, we call on all MSPs to act for women’s equity by supporting equal representation for women and marginalised groups in politics.

Date of publication: March 2023.

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GUEST BLOG: Economic Abuse and the cost of living crisis

GUEST BLOG: Economic Abuse and the cost of living crisis

Blog – Dec 8, 2022: As part of our guest blog series on the cost of living crisis, researcher Jenn Glinski explores how the current rise in costs is impacting victim-survivors of economic abuse.

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Delivering Equally Safe: Challenging and eradicating violence against women

Delivering Equally Safe: Challenging and eradicating violence against women

Blog – Dec 6, 2022: To mark the annual 16 Days of Activism campaign, our Policy Officer for Engender's Delivering Equally Safe project, Hannah Brisbane, shares some background on our briefing for MSPs on the importance of primary prevention in challenging and eradicating men's violence against women.

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Gendered online harassment of women journalists: a review of research, employment laws and gender equality policies for Scotland

Nov 22, 2022: This report has been produced for Engender by Claire Kish. The report provides an overview of the gendered online harassment of women journalists from the perspective of employers’ role and responsibilities. The report outlines the scope of this problem, drawing attention to key structural factors and how governments, legislation and employers can mitigate threats to gender equality in journalism and society.

Date of publication: November 2022.

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Delivering Equally Safe: The importance of primary prevention

Delivering Equally Safe: The importance of primary prevention

Blog – Nov 10, 2022: Last year, Engender was awarded funding from the Delivering Equally Safe fund of the Scottish Government, for work on primary prevention of violence against women. We are now at the end of the first year of this funding and our Policy Officer for the Delivering Equally Safe project, Hannah Brisbane, shares an update about the project so far.

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Model Sexual Harassment Prevention and Action Policy

Sep 20, 2022: This model Sexual Harassment Prevention and Action Policy has been produced for Engender by Professor Nicole Busby and Professor Rosalind Searle with support from colleagues in employment law.

This model policy is available for workplaces to use, adapt and adopt to suit the needs of their employees and work environments. We would encourage engagement with trades unions or, failing that, staff associations or representatives who are experts in their professional field in developing and adopting this policy to ensure that specific considerations relating to individual workplaces and particular sectors are taken into account. All workplaces and employers are welcome to use this model policy, and there is no need to credit Engender or the authors.

This model policy is an appendix to the report Enough is Enough: Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment in Scotland.

Date of Publication: April 2022

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Enough is Enough: Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment In Scotland

Apr 20, 2022: Engender's new report Enough is Enough: Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment in Scotland sets out the extent and nature of sexual and sexist workplace harassment and the impact it has on women in Scotland and highlights the need to reframe this as an issue of women’s equality that is rooted in sexism and sits within the spectrum of violence against women and girls. The report makes recommendations for action on sexual and sexist harassment in the workplace for Scottish Government and other bodies covering: prevention, reporting, investigation and decision-making, employment tribunals, and regulating sexual harassment.

This report is the result of a 2-year project which included convening an expert group of academics, lawyers, violence against women practitioners and employment law specialists, as well as conducting research and focus groups with women who have experienced sexual and sexist harassment. This work is part of a wider project in Scotland with Close the Gap who are doing related but separate work to build capacity in employers. The work was funded by Rosa, the UK fund for women and girls, as part of a four-nations project on sexual harassment.

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Anonymous Reporting of Sexual Harassment: A Literature Review

Apr 20, 2022: This report provides a literature review relating to the use of anonymous reporting of sexual harassment within the UK. The focus is on workplaces but, where appropriate, other settings such as the university sector in its role as an education provider, are also considered. Although the review is primarily concerned with developments within the UK, the practice of anonymous reporting is relatively new and so other countries’ experiences are also reviewed in order to explore what we can learn in terms of good and best practice. The materials on which this review is based were widely drawn from a range of sources including academic research, organisational and grey literature drawing on both online and print resources.

Date of publication: April 2022.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: International Women’s Day 2022 - #BreakTheBias

Mar 8, 2022: Engender welcomes this opportunity to mark International Women’s Day 2022 with this briefing and the Parliament’s debate. This year’s theme - #BreakTheBias – aims to highlight conscious and unconscious discrimination against women in all walks of life. Preventing and eradicating violence requires serious action to secure women’s social, economic and cultural equality and the rights of women and girls. UN Women has estimated that the impact of Covid-19 for women’s equality could mean the loss of 25 years’ worth of progress, and Scotland is not immune. Measures to respond to the pandemic have disproportionately affected women’s access to paid work - especially younger women and women of colour - and the volume of care that women provide.

Breaking the structural bias that leaves women poorer, further from power and opportunities and more vulnerable to violence, abuse and harm demands urgent attention and action.

Date of publication: March 2022.

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Using the law to tackle misogyny

Using the law to tackle misogyny

Blog – Mar 8, 2022: Engender’s Policy and Parliamentary Manager, Eilidh Dickson, has been a member of the Independent Working Group on Misogyny chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy. Here she reflects on the final report released today

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Engender Submission of Evidence to the Scottish Parliament Social Justice and Social Security Committee Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWAG) and Domestic Violence Thematic Session

Mar 2, 2022: Engender welcomes this opportunity to participate in a thematic discussion on violence against women and girls and domestic abuse and ahead of the meeting have outlined here our current work in this area for the Committee. Engender does not provide violence against women services but works across a number of relevant policy domains.

Date of publication: March 2022.

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Delivering Equally Safe - how can we prevent violence against women?

Delivering Equally Safe - how can we prevent violence against women?

Blog – Dec 14, 2021: Engender have been awarded funding from the Delivering Equally Safe fund of the Scottish Government, for work on primary prevention of violence against women. In this blog, we explain why this is so vital.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021

Nov 24, 2021: Engender welcomes this debate to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2021 and the start of 16 Days of Activism. This is the 30th year of the international campaign recognising the global epidemic of violence against women, with 1 in 3 women worldwide subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, and the full continuum of violence perpetrated against women, including sexual harassment, violence in digital contexts, harmful practices, and sexual exploitation.

Date of publication: November 2021.

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Engender submission of evidence to the Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group

Oct 1, 2021: Engender is grateful for this opportunity to submit our views to the Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland Working Group. These comments represent a summary of our existing work on hate crime and challenging misogyny, all of which is publicly available.

Engender, alongside other national women’s organisations, has practical concerns about including gender-based violence against women in the model of hate crime. The Scottish hate crime model protects women who experience crimes motivated by hatred towards them because of their membership of a minority group, including lesbian and bisexual women, disabled women, trans women, and Black and minoritised women. Violence against women is a human rights violation and a cause and consequence of women’s inequality. It occurs at endemic levels in both public and private settings. Misogynistic behaviour, harassment and abuse is a constraint on choice and freedom at significant scale, which demands a credible and appropriate criminal justice response. Simply put, women cannot live a good life while harassment rooted in sexism and misogyny is allowed to inflect our daily reality. Yet gender and ‘hate crime’ is substantially under-theorised and there are limited examples to learn from, including overcoming barriers to effective utilisation of the law to respond.

Date of publication: September 2021

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Women's Sector Joint Letter on Proposed Stage 2 Amendments to the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill

Mar 12, 2021: Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis and Zero Tolerance have written to the Convener of the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee on proposed Stage 2 Amendments to the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill following oral evidence at Stage 1 from Engender and Scottish Women’s Aid.

Date of publication: March 2021.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing Hate Crime and Public Order Bill Stage 3

Mar 12, 2021: Engender welcomes this opportunity to highlight our ongoing research and engagement with the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill ahead of the Stage 3 debate. Our central concern relating to the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill is that it does not recognise the realities of women’s experience of egregious misogynistic harassment, offers ineffective response to violence against women, and does not work to challenge structural oppression. The hate crime framework offers a harmfully ineffective response to gender-based violence against women.

Date of publication: March 2021.

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Engender submission of evidence to the Justice Committee’s short timescale call for views on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill – Freedom of Expression Amendments

Feb 22, 2021: In this response to the short timescale call for views on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill - Freedom of Expression.

In this submission we reiterate our view here that:
• A perceived threat of criminality may stifle necessary political and social debate;
• Marginalised groups and causes are more vulnerable to interference and less capable of inspiring actual hatred to a majority or state-backed power;
• Exceptions should be narrowly constituted and not used to further or excuse oppression, and therefore the scales must be weighted in favour of the oppressed.

Engender's Policy and Parliamentary Manager Eilidh Dickson gave evidence to the Justice Committee on this issue on Feb 22 2021.

Date of publication: 22 Feb 2021

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Engender response to the Scottish Parliament Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee consultation on Code of Conduct changes to give effect to the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Sexual Harassment and Sexist Behaviour

Feb 1, 2021: Engender is pleased to respond to the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee consultation on Code of Conduct changes to give effect to the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Sexual Harassment and Sexist Behaviour. We continue to support Parliament taking any step open to it to ensure that robust accountability and support systems are in place to prevent sexual harassment, support women who report sexist and sexual harassment, and enable widespread and lasting culture change to realise women’s right to participate fully in political and public life on equal terms with men.

Date of publication: February 2021.

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Engender response to the Scottish Government Consultation on the Digital Strategy for Scotland

Dec 17, 2020: Women face myriad barriers to digital access, including possessing fewer digital skills and less digital confidence than men and being more likely to have insufficient resources to afford digital equipment. Where women and girls do have digital access, experiences of online misogynistic harassment and abuse severely impact freedom to make full and equal use of online spaces.

Engender therefore welcomes this opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government Consultation on the Digital Strategy for Scotland. Our view is that digital inclusion can and should encompass action to address the gendered barriers and inequalities that exist for internet non-users and users alike. A strategy that mainstreams these gendered issues will contribute to the advancement of women’s equality and rights

Date of publication: December 2020.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Stage One Debate Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill

Dec 15, 2020: This is a briefing for MSPs ahead of the Scottish Parliament Stage One Debate on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill on 14th December.
We welcome this opportunity to highlight our work on misogyny and hate crime ahead of the Scottish Parliament’s Stage One debate on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill. In particular, we welcome the Justice Committee’s detailed scrutiny of the effective response needed to tackle the nature and scale of harassment and violence directed toward women because they are women.

Date of publication: December 2020.

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Engender response to the Scottish Government Equally Safe consultation on challenging men’s demand for prostitution, working to reduce the harms associated with prostitution, and helping women to exit

Dec 10, 2020: We welcome the opportunity to respond to this consultation by Scottish Government and particularly its explicit recognition of prostitution as a gendered phenomenon, which is rooted in women’s inequality. In November 2020, the UN’s CEDAW Committee published a general recommendation relating to Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In it, it recommends that states focus on the four root causes of sexual exploitation in women and girls: 1.Systematic gender-based discrimination; 2. Conflict and humanitarian emergencies; 3. Discrimination in migration and asylum regimes; and 4.Demand that fosters exploitation.
In line with Engender’s expertise, our response to this consultation focuses principally on the first of these root causes, which maps onto the primary prevention approach set out in Equally Safe.

Date of publication: December 2020.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Scottish Government Debate: Making Scotland Equally Safe: Marking the Annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Nov 26, 2020: This is a briefing for MSPs ahead of the Scottish Government debate marking the 16 days of Activism on Violence Against Women on 26th November 2020.
We welcome this debate coinciding with 16 Days of Activism, and the opportunity to set out some of the current evidence surrounding violence against women, which remains endemic in Scotland, noting specific opportunities for harms over the upcoming election. We also set out our hopes for the working group on misogynistic harassment announced by the Scottish Government and this opportunity for Scotland to be bold and develop new solutions to the types of violence that continue to impede women’s lives.

Date of publication: November 2020.

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Engender submission of evidence to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee call for views on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill

Aug 7, 2020: This is a submission to the Scottish Scottish Parliament Justice Committee call for views on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

Women’s organisations have previously been opposed to including ‘sex’ or ‘gender’ within the protected characteristics covered by hate crime law in Scotland because evidence shows them to be ineffective at preventing and penalising misogynistic harm. As the law around hate crime has been revisited in Scotland over the last few years, we have worked with other national women’s organisations, including Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid, to consider whether a new Scottish hate crime bill offered possibilities for expanding protections from misogynistic harassment. We have also considered whether aspects of the Bill, particularly the offences of stirring up hatred, will temper or have a chilling effect on women’s political activism and campaigning.

Date of publication: August 2020.

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Engender submission of evidence to the UK Parliament Women and Equalities Committee inquiry on Unequal impact: Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact on people with protected characteristics

Jul 10, 2020: Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the UK, Engender has sought to draw attention to the highly gendered impacts of both the virus and steps to mitigate it.

This submission was made to the Women and Equalities Committee at the UK Parliament at the beginning of May, and sets out the broad range of issues that have emerged pertaining to women’s inequality during the first weeks of the UK’s management of Covid-19. Inevitably, this pandemic will remain a serious and evolving issue, with phased recovery and cycled periods of response. The scale of the potential impact for women’s equality is enormous. It is therefore vital that as the full range of measures to implement mitigation and recover are developed, gender is a key and foremost consideration, otherwise decades of slow progress for women’s equality will be lost.

Date of publication: July 2020.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: criminal trials during the Covid-19 outbreak

Apr 20, 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic represents a crisis for gender equality around the world and in Scotland. We have already set out in our paper Women and COVID-19 the ways in which Covid-19 places women at increase risks of violence, poverty and inequality and called for gender to by systematically and consistently mainstreamed into our responses to this crisis at every level.

Engender previously called on MSPs and Government to “[e]xplore innovative options to protect women’s access to justice, including juryless trials in the instance of rape and serious sexual assault.” We continue to believe that judge-only trials respect the dignity and rights of women who have experienced gender-based violence, minimises additional trauma of delayed and protracted attempts to seek justice and balance the rights of women and the accused in a proportionate way while our society experiences the present disruption. However, we also recognise that further options have been put forward for the duration of the outbreak and welcome the opportunity here to raise points specific to the possible continuation of jury trials. We are concerned that many of these options will exclude women from participation in jury trials and undermine women’s access to justice by rendering juries less representative of the experiences of Scotland’s population.

Date of Publication: April 2020

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Women and COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020: The COVID-19 global pandemic represents an unprecedented situation and the responses and aftereffects will have long-term consequences for everybody in Scotland, notably for women and women’s equality. These include risks to the ongoing work Scotland is doing to realise a more equal Scotland for women and men. It is vital that these programmes and the progress they will realise are not lost. Equally, women’s needs and realities need to be well-integrated in the urgent responses to this crisis.

The evidence from previous pandemics tells us that gender equality measures and action plans are vital components of an effective response. Women’s inequality around the world exacerbates their vulnerability to not only catching the virus, but the social and economic burdens of our collective response. When the safety nets put in place by the state are stretched to breaking point, it is women that are hit the hardest, and this health crisis is highlighting gaps in UK social and economic policy in an unprecedented way. This briefing explores some of the ways in which the differences between men’s and women’s lives play in to COVID-19, and describes critical issues that Scottish Government and parliamentarians should include in their thinking about crisis response, and medium-run mitigation programmes and spend.

The information in this briefing refers to the situation up to 26th March 2020. We are still in the early days of this crisis and the thinking continues to develop at pace, with new Scottish specific and UK-wide measures announced daily. Engender will continue to monitor events and look to supplement this briefing as necessary.

Date of publication: 26 March 2020

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Engender submission of evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry on the Economics of Universal Credit

Mar 24, 2020: This document is a submission of written evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry on the Economics of Universal Credit.

We welcome this opportunity to submit our views to the House of Lords Select Committee’s inquiry into the economics of universal credit (UC). Our years of work in this area and our feminist analysis of UC and its impacts leads us to conclude that UC is failing women. It is ensuring, increasing and embedding women’s poverty and contributing to pervasive sexism whereby the state punishes women for decisions around their reproductive rights, motherhood and the labour market, and is further reducing equality between women and their partners.

Date of publication: March 2020

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Joint Parliamentary Briefing: Stage 3 Proceedings: Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill

Mar 23, 2020: Ahead of the Scottish Parliament Stage 3 proceedings of the Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill on 19th March 2020, we joined with Scottish Women's Aid to publish a briefing outlining some key amendments that are well-intentioned but may potentially have unforeseen consequences that risk undermining women’s safety and dignity and the efficacy of the Bill as a whole.

Date of publication: March 2020.

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A WOMAN'S PLACE: GENDER, HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS IN SCOTLAND

Mar 4, 2020: Women are largely invisible in housing and homelessness policy across the UK. The extent and nature of women’s homelessness is not well understood, and next to nothing is known about the experiences of women who live with multiple forms of inequality. This ‘hidden homelessness’ means that policy interventions and mainstream services do not cater to women’s needs, particularly for those facing multiple economic and social discrimination, including black and minority ethnic (BME) women, disabled women, and older and younger women.

This report sets out the international context on the right to housing, summarises key issues for women’s equality across housing and homelessness, and explores the extent to which the legislative and policy landscapes in Scotland are gendered. We conclude with findings and recommendations to mainstream gender within housing and homelessness policy frameworks in Scotland.

This report is designed to sit alongside a complementary literature review which draws out themes on women’s homelessness, access to affordable housing, and the differential needs of groups of women who are particularly at risk of housing insecurity.

Date of publication: March 2020

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Engender 16 Days of Action Hate Crime Briefing

Nov 28, 2019: This is a briefing ahead of the Scottish Parliament debate marking the 16 days of Activism on Violence Against Women on 27th November 2019.
The briefing sets out Engender's position that misogyny should be a standalone offence in Scotland in order to tackle the epidemic of harassment and abuse facing women and girls, and reinforce existing violence against women policies.

Date of publication: November 2019.

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Making women safer in Scotland: the case for a standalone misogyny offence

Nov 26, 2019: This report calls for misogyny to be considered as a criminal offence in Scotland in order to challenge the epidemic of harassment and abuse facing women and girls. It sets out why a 'gender hostility' aggravation has been shown to be ineffective in international examples, and demonstrates how it may undermine other work being undertaken to tackle violence against women. The report urges the Scottish Government to create participatory process to develop and standalone criminal offence of misogyny. This would takes into account the reality of women’s lives in Scotland, and draw on international expertise.

Date of publication: November 26 2019

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Universal Credit

Nov 20, 2019: This is a briefing ahead of the Scottish Labour Debate in the Scottish Parliament on Universal Credit on 20th November 2019. Parliament Member's Business Debate on Charities, Scotland and Holyrood on 30th October 2019. We fully support ending and substantively reforming the elements of the UK ‘welfare’ system which are having a harmful impact upon women across Scotland. This briefing sets out the particular concerns and impacts of universal credit, the two-child limit and the benefits cap.

Date of publication: November 2019.

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Engender submission of evidence to the UK Government Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry on welfare policy in Scotland

Oct 23, 2019: This document is a submission of written evidence to the UK Government Scottish Affairs Committee inquiry on welfare policy in Scotland. This submission was originally made in September 2019, but was not published until mid-October owing to the possibility of prorogation of the UK Parliament.

The design of social security and ‘welfare reform’ has a disproportionate impact on women. Around 20% of women’s total income comes from the benefits and tax credit system, compared with 10% of men’s. Women also rely more on public services, and as a result, up to 86% of net ‘savings’ between 2010 and 2020 will come from women’s incomes, not accounting for additional cost savings sought as a result of upcoming economic changes. Disabled, BME and refugee women, lone parents, unpaid carers and other marginalised groups are at even greater risk of poverty and destitution. We therefore welcome this opportunity to highlight issues relating to ‘welfare’ and social security in Scotland which we hope will help inform the committee’s work.

Date of publication: September 2019.

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Engender note on Equally Safe: A consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services for victims of rape and sexual assault

May 8, 2019: This is a note contributing to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services for victims of rape and sexual assault. As a policy and advocacy organisation, Engender works to secure women’s rights and we are ambitious in our aspiration to see a gender-equal Scotland for all women and girls.

Engender works closely with our colleagues across the women’s sector including Scotland’s violence against women organisations. We face a shared task given that violence against women is a cause and consequence of women’s inequality, but we have specific areas of expertise and focus. We are therefore responding to this consultation only where we have additional evidence to share about the experience of disabled and learning disabled women. On the wider issue we are pleased to endorse the evidence and analysis of Rape Crisis Scotland.

Date of publication: May 2019.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Social Security Committee Debate on In-Work Poverty

Apr 22, 2019: This is a briefing ahead of the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee debate on in-work poverty. The design of social security has profound implications for women’s capacity to be in paid work, and in their experience of poverty once they are employed. This is because women are twice as likely to be reliant on social security as men, and have very different experiences of both poverty and the labour market. In their evidence to the committee’s inquiry, Close the Gap highlighted in-depth the multitude of factors which ensure that paid work is not a route out of poverty for women in Scotland. Despite the policy intention behind Universal Credit (UC), its design contributes to trapping women in poverty and exacerbates inequality between women and men.

Date of publication: April 2019.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Condemnation of Misogyny, Racism, Harassment and Sexism

Mar 28, 2019: Engender welcomes this Scottish Parliament Debate on Condemnation of Misogyny, Racism, Harassment and Sexism and the opportunity to raise awareness of the ways in which women in Scotland’s inequality contributes to gender-based violence.

Harassment and other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG) are both a cause and a consequence of women’s inequality. Through our policy and advocacy work we have drawn attention to the multitude of ways in which women’s inequality persists in Scotland and without concerted action to address these, attitudes and actions which replicate sexism and create the conducive context for men’s violence will continue.

Date of publication: March 2019.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: International Women’s Day 2019

Mar 6, 2019: This year’s International Women’s Day adopts the theme of #BalanceForBetter and provides an opportunity to reflect on both the ways in which structural gender inequality continues to constrain women’s lives in Scotland, and the political will and action needed to tackle it. Women still carry out the majority of unpaid care and household labour as a result of traditional gender roles. This is one of the factors underpinning the fact that women are still chronically under-represented in elected office and public life, including leadership of private companies, public bodies, and in academia.

Date of publication: March 2019.

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Engender response to the Scottish Government consultation on Scottish Hate Crime legislation

Mar 6, 2019: Engender welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on how it might respond to Lord Bracadale’s recommendations following his Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland. We engaged substantively with the Independent Review, and took the opportunity it presented to consider the ways in which Scotland might respond to the gendered social phenomenon of misogynistic harassment and what might be characterised as ‘hate speech’.

Date of publication: March 2019.

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Parliamentary Briefing: Sexual Harassment and Inappropriate Conduct in the Scottish Parliament

Jun 13, 2018: Engender has drafted a briefing for tomorrow’s parliamentary debate on the report by Standard, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee into sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. In our briefing, we outline our support for certain measures recommended by the Committee, as well as share further action which could be taken to prevent, appropriately investigate, and sanction sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.

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Analysis of the Final Report by the Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland

Jun 1, 2018: Engender was 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. In response to the recommendations in the final report by Lord Bracadale’s Independent Review, we
continue to call for a standalone misogynistic hate crime in Scotland as a way of disrupting this epidemic.

Date of Publication: June 2018

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Engender Response to the Scottish Parliament Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee Inquiry into Sexual Harassment and Inappropriate Conduct

Jan 31, 2018: This is Engender's response to the call for evidence to the sexual harassment inquiry by the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee of the Scottish Parliament.

Engender's Parliamentary and Policy Manager, Emma Trottier, appeared before the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to speak on this topic on February 1st 2018.

Date of publication: January 2018.

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Engender Submission to the Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland

Nov 29, 2017: Engender welcomes the opportunity presented by this independent review to consider the ways in which Scotland might respond to the gendered social phenomenon of misogynistic harassment and hate speech.

The aim of Lord Bracadale’s review is to consider “whether the law should be clarified and harmonised, and whether additional protected groups should be included” . Our submission attempts to reflect on the shape and impact of misogynistic harassment of women in Scotland, and to generate ideas about how this might be disrupted.

Date of publication: November 2017.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: 16 Days of Activism Debate November 2017

Nov 28, 2017: Engender briefing on the debate to mark the 16 Days of Activism for the elimination of violence against women and girls. The briefing sets out the epidemic levels of violence that persist in Scotland, the ways in which women's inequality is cause and consequence of violence against women, and our calls for making change happen in communities in Scotland.

Date of publication: November 2017.

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Engender Response to the Scottish Government Equally Safe Delivery Plan

Jul 3, 2017: Engender welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Equally Safe draft delivery plan.

As a women’s equality policy and advocacy organization, we have joined sister organisations in the violence against women sector in warmly welcoming the broad approach of Equally Safe. This bold document of ambition firmly locates the causal story for men’s violence against women in women’s inequality.

Date of publication: June 2017.

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Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Social Security Committee Call for Evidence on the Two-child Limit for Tax Credits and Universal Credit

May 18, 2017: Engender welcomes the opportunity to present evidence to the Social Security Committee on the two-child limit. We have been working with other women’s organisations in Scotland over the last few years to chart the impact of ‘welfare reform’, and the ways in which it is widening inequality between women and men.

Analysis of the two-child limit by Child Poverty Action Group calculates its impact as a loss of up to £2,800 every year per child. In addition, it is projected that these deep cuts to social security for families with more than two children will push up to 200,000 more children into poverty, and will impact approximately 510,000 families in 2019-20.


Date of publication: May 2017.

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Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee Call for Evidence on the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill

May 4, 2017: Engender welcomes the proposed legislation as an opportunity to advance Scotland’s compliance with domestic and international obligations respecting women’s rights and women’s equality. In Scotland last year, 59,882 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by police in Scotland, an increase of 2.5 percent from 2013-14. Of the recorded incidents, 79% had a female victim and male perpetrator.

Date of publication: May 2017.

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Engender Parliamentary Briefing: Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit ('Family Cap') Debate

Apr 24, 2017: Engender's briefing in advance of the Scottish Parliament debate on Child Tax Credit and Child Element of Universal Credit (known as the 'family cap', and including the so-called 'rape clause').

Date of publication: April 2017.

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Engender Response to the Scottish Government Consultation on Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy

Mar 22, 2017: Engender welcomes this opportunity to submit our views to Scottish Government on its Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy. We observed in our submission on the Human Trafficking Bill that around 75% of people trafficked into Scotland are women, the vast majority of traffickers are men, and ‘sex trafficking’ is the most prevalent form of abuse . Cross-border movement of people is heavily associated with commercial sexual exploitation. Globally, 98% of those trafficked for that purpose are female, with 21% children and 79% adult women . The contexts into which the draft strategy describes individuals as being trafficked into in Scotland, including commercial sexual exploitation, labour exploitation and criminal exploitation, domestic servitude, and sham marriages , are all highly gendered. It is our position that gendered interventions will necessarily be required to meet the strategy’s ambitions to “eliminate human trafficking and exploitation” and “investigate the crimes and disrupt the activities of the perpetrators”.

Date of publication: March 2017.

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Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Equalities and Human Rights Committee on Bullying and Harassment of Young People

Feb 15, 2017: Engender welcomes this opportunity to submit our views to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee on bullying and harassment of children and young people, with a particular focus on sexism, sexual harassment and gender inequalities in the school system.

Sexist bullying and sexual harassment undermine the dignity and safety of girls and young women, negatively impacting on their views of themselves and their experience of and attainment in education. Sexist bullying and misogynistic behaviours and attitudes within schools also contribute to a culture that sustains and amplifies gender segregation and gender stereotyping, limiting equal opportunities and creating a conducive context for violence against women and girls in society as a whole.

Date of publication: October 2016.

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Engender Response to UK Government Consultation on Exceptions to the Reforms Which Limit the Child Elements in Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit to a Maximum of Two Children

Nov 28, 2016: Engender fundamentally rejects the principles behind both reducing vital social security for mothers of more than two children, and making an exception where a child is conceived as a result of rape.

Date of Publication: November 2016.

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Engender Response to the Scottish Government Consultation on the Prostitution Law Reform (Scotland) Bill

Dec 7, 2015: Engender welcomes the opportunity presented by this consultation to consider the ways in which Scotland might respond to the gendered social phenomenon of prostitution. The aim of the draft proposal is to “begin a debate on how to reform the law”, in the knowledge that a Bill cannot be introduced in this session of the Parliament. We have therefore chosen to offer some reflections on the criminal justice responses to the sale of sexual services, as set out in the consultation document, but also to attempt to think more widely around the issues it presents around women’s rights and gender relations.

Date of publication: December 2015.

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Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee Call for Evidence on the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Bill

Mar 2, 2015: Engender's submission of written evidence to the Justice Committee on the Human Trafficking and Exploitation (Scotland) Bill.

Date of publication: February 2015.

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Scotland's Futures: Violence Against Women

Aug 14, 2014: This briefing is part of a series that sets out how power and responsibility to tackle critical gender equality issues are divided between Holyrood and Westminster. It is part of Engender’s contribution to the independence referendum debate.

Date of publication: August 2014.

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Engender Response to the Public Consultation on the Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill

Jul 30, 2014: Engender's response to consultation on the Human Trafficking (Scotland) Bill, a Private Member's Bill presented by Jenny Marra MSP.

Date of publication: January 2014.

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Women's and Equalities Sector Joint Statement Welcoming 'Equally Safe'

Jul 23, 2014: A joint statement from Engender, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Womenʼs Aid, Scottish Womenʼs Convention, White Ribbon Scotland, Womenʼs Support Project and Zero Tolerance welcoming 'Equally Safe', the Scottish Government strategy document that outlines a gendered approach to tackling gender based violence.

Date of publication: July 2014.

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Common Weal: Eradicating Gender Inequality and Violence Against Women

Jun 7, 2014: This paper on gender inequality and violence against women was written by Lesley Orr, Emma Ritch, Marsha Scott, and Nel Whiting in May 2014. An edited version appears as part of the text of the Common Weal book. An expanded version will be published as a Common Weal paper later in the year.

Date of publication: May 2014.

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Scottish NGO Briefing for UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women

Apr 18, 2014: Joint briefing paper for the UN Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. Produced by Engender, Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, Scottish Refugee Council, and Human Rights Consortium Scotland for the UN Rapporteur's UK Country Mission in 2014.

Date of publication: March 2014.

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Women in Scotland: Facts and Stats 2012 Calendar

Mar 5, 2014: Women in Scotland calendar 2012: monthly facts and stats on women's inequality.

Date of publication: January 2012.

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Politics in Your Pocket Resource

Mar 5, 2014: A pocket guide to gender inequality across political life in Scotland.

Date of publication: 2010.

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Cause & Consequence: Violence Against Women Statement

Mar 5, 2014: A leaflet outlining Engender's position on violence against women.

Date of publication: 2008.

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Engender Response to the Public Consultation on the Proposed Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Private Members Bill 2

Mar 5, 2014: Engender's response to the public consultation on the Criminalisation of the Purchase of Sex (Scotland) Bill 2.

Date of publication: December 2012.

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Engender Response to the Public Consultation on the Proposed Criminalisation of the Purchase and Sale of Sex (Scotland) Private Members Bill

Mar 5, 2014: Engender's response to the consultation on the private members' bill lodged by Trish Godman MSP.

Date of publication: February 2011.

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Engender Submission to the Scottish Parliament Jusitice Committee Call for Evidence on the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill

Mar 5, 2014: Engender's written submission to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee call for written evidence on the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill.

Date of publication: April 2009.

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Engender Response to the Scottish Government Consultation on Civil Remedies to Forced Marriage

Mar 5, 2014: Engender's response to the Forced Marriage: Civil Remedies consultation from the Scottish Government.

Date of publication: March 2009.

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Engender Letter of Support for the EHRC Response to the Consultation on the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill

Mar 5, 2014: This is a letter of support from Engender for the Equality and Human Rights Commission submission of written evidence to the consulation on the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill.

Date of publication: December 2008.

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Engender Response to the Scottish Law Commission Proposals for Rape and Sexual Offences

Mar 5, 2014: Engender Response to the Scottish Law Commission Proposals for Rape and Sexual Offences.

Date of publication: March 2008.

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