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Late charity leader honoured with posthumous doctorate

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Emma Ritch’s husband Kenny said she made a difference every day.

A Scottish university has honoured a prominent women’s rights campaigner who died suddenly last year. 

The husband of Emma Ritch, who was Executive Director of the policy think tank Engender, has said she was proof that "one person can make a difference" as she was awarded a posthumous doctorate by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). 

The charity leader died suddenly in July 2021 having dedicated much of her life to advancing feminism in Scotland as a member of a number of influential organisations shaping policy on women's rights both in her native country and across the globe. 

The doctorate was awarded in recognition of her outstanding contribution to gender policy and advancing women’s rights and economic status.

Emma’s husband Kenny, spoke after collecting the award, telling the Herald: “If you doubt one person can make a difference, Emma did it every day. 

"Driving national equality policy change, inspiring a life of work in others by taking the time to encourage and make sure their voices were heard, picking a friend up when the world is unkind.

"She did all of these things (often wearing stripy socks) and none were more important than the other.

“I know she would congratulate all of you on achieving your degrees and wish you all, and of course everyone in the audience today, future success.”

As well as her work in the third sector, Ms Ritch was a regular guest lecturer at GCU and contributor to modules on gender; women work and income; human rights; and public policy.

She was also a strong supporter of the University’s WISE Research Centre and a committed advocate for feminist economics, held in high regard in feminist policy and politics in Scotland and internationally.