Feminist organisation Engender has highlighted the opportunities for greater equality for women in an independent Scotland.
Engender has a vision for a Scotland in which women and men have equal opportunities in life
An independent Scotland could provide opportunities for women’s rights to be enshrined in law and make significant progress on gender equality, according to a new report.
Engender, Scotland’s feminist membership organisation, claims that the upcoming referendum offers a chance to restart progress towards gender equality which has been stalled in recent years following the economic downfall.
It is calling for equality to be placed at the heart of a new constitution for Scotland, whether Scotland decides to become independent or not.
A new report from the charity, Gender Equality and Scotland’s Constitutional Futures, argues that new institutions set up following independence should commit to flexible working arrangements to support women with children and could include gender quotas.
The body argues that regardless of the outcome of the referendum, Scotland should embrace a greater commitment to meeting international human rights principals, such as the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women.
However, a new social security system could also help combat inequality by ensuring better support for single mothers and all women on benefits and an independent asylum system could help progress the rights of female refugees.
“Engender has a vision for a Scotland in which women and men have equal opportunities in life, equal access to resources and power, and are equally safe and secure from harm,” said report author Jill Wood, policy manager at Engender.
“The discussions about the Scotland that we might shape, regardless of the decision made on 18 September, present an opportunity to rearticulate our vision for gender equality and consider what constitutional arrangements might best facilitate the changes we would like see.”