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Equalities

LBGT, older, women, men, younger, disabled, New Scots, religious, non-religious, race….one thing unites us all. We are all people and all deserve to have equal rights and treatment by others and society as a whole.
The SNP believes strongly in fairness and equality in a modern Scotland and City of Stirling Branch aims to support these aims.

Below you will find News items updated regularly in the Equalities space that might be of interest to readers.

STAGE 3 DEBATE: DOMESTIC ABUSE (SCOTLAND) BILL

On Thursday the Scottish Parliament held the Stage 3 debate of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill. The legislation creates a specific offence of domestic abuse, previously dealt with under various existing laws and covers psychological and emotional maltreatment and coercive and controlling behaviour as well as physical attacks.

Opening the debate, Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “This is a momentous day, as our laws will be changed in a way that reflects the experience of domestic abuse that all too many women have suffered. Although I am under no illusion that laws alone can address domestic abuse, they have a key role to play. Once implemented, bill will allow our justice system to deal more appropriately with domestic abuse.”The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by MSPs.

The Official Report of the debate can be found here.


The Scottish Government press release can be found here.
WOMEN’S REPRESENTATION IN POLITICS

Projects to encourage greater representation of women in political roles at all levels of Scottish society are to be backed by a new £500,000 fund. The First Minister has set out the measures that will see grants provided for grassroots and local projects across Scotland to empower more women into politics.

Commenting, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “While we have come a long way since 1918, much still needs to be done if we are to eradicate gender inequality and create a fairer and more prosperous country. By supporting community initiatives and women-empowerment projects, we are making an important step towards securing that future…This funding will ensure we pay tribute to the women who fought for the rights that women have today, as well as playing a part in encouraging the next generation of women leaders.”


Press Release here
STAGE 3: GENDER REPRESENTATION ON PUBLIC BOARDS (SCOTLAND) BILL

On Tuesday the Scottish Parliament passed the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill, making Scotland the only part of the UK to legislate to ensure at least 50% of non-executive members on public boards are women and ensure these bodies encourage women to apply for these positions. The Scottish Conservatives, who have only one female MP out of 13 and only 7 female MSPs out of 31, again chose to vote down steps to tackle gender inequality in Scotland. 

Commenting Christina McKelvie said: “Women make up 50% of the population and passing the gender representation on Public Boards Bill is a momentous step towards ensuring that Scotland’s public bodies better reflect the society we live in and that the progress we have already made is not rolled back.”Opening the debate, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance said:“It is unacceptable that women are still underrepresented in senior positions in the boardroom, paid less than their male counterparts and subjected to sexual harassment and violence…Women are not a minority; at nearly 52 percent of the population in Scotland, they represent the majority…We know that greater diversity in the boardroom leads to better performance by encouraging new and innovative thinking and better decision making. In other words, it is the smart as well as the right thing to do.”
The Scottish Parliament passed the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill by 88 votes to 28. 

The Official Record can be found here.
QUALITY AND EQUALITY IMPROVE IN COLLEGES

The diversity of Scotland’s colleges is increasing. In 2016-17:

• More learning hours were delivered to older students, people with a declared disability, from the most deprived areas and from a black and minority ethnic background.

• Number of credits delivered to college students reporting a care-experienced background reached a record high.

• College sector delivered 117,502 full-time equivalent (FTE) college places – exceeding the Scottish Government’scommitment to deliver 116,000 FTE college places each year.

• Proportion of activity delivered to students studying for a recognised qualification reached its highest ever level.

Commenting, Further and Higher Education Minister, Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Over the last decade, Scotland’s colleges have undergone a transformation. They are now delivering more recognised qualifications tp students from an increasingly diverse range of backgrounds…This report shows two things, that the quality of learning at our colleges has never been higher and also that the college sector has equality firmly established at its heart”


The Scottish Government press release can be found here.
SUPPORTING WORKPLACE EQUALITY

A Workplace Equality Fund which offers grants to reduce employment inequalities, discrimination and barriers for minority ethnic people, women, disabled people and older workers and been opened this week with funding of £500,000 fund. The Fund will support delivery of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government; Race Equality Framework; Disability Action Plan; and Scotland’s Labour Market Strategy by helping employers reduce employment inequalities, particularly across the arts, culture, leisure, tourism, finance, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and fishing, transport and communication and STEM sectors.

Commenting, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “We want the same employment opportunities for all so that everyone, irrespective of gender, race or disability, has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and improve Scotland’s economic performance as a result.”


Read Press Release