This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Scottish women still fighting for equality

This news post is over 7 years old

​Charity's original research discovers young Scottish women's thoughts, idea and opinions on life and gender equality

Women in Scotland believe there's still a way to go to before they are equal to men a new report by the YCWA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement has claimed.

The Status of Young Women in Scotland report, created following a series of 60 interviews with women between the ages of 16 and 30, concluded there was “some way to go” until gender equality is fully achieved in Scotland.

Interviews, which were carried out by social research company The Line Between, discussed women’s thoughts on topics from education and politics to relationships and safety.

Kara Brown, innovation co-ordinator at YWCA Scotland, said the report was created to listen and to learn about the lives of young women living in Scotland.

Scottish women still fighting for equality

Equality isn’t just women’s problem, it’s a problem we all have to solve.

Nicola Sturgeon

She described the report as being the first time they had been given the opportunity to share their own thoughts, idea and opinions on life from teens to early thirties and on gender equality.

“We would like to see the Status of Young Women in Scotland report become a platform for young women’s voices and a tool for change,” Brown said.

“When we first met to map out this project together in 2014, we agreed that there was no place where we could find a holistic, evidence-based and intersectional picture of what it’s like to be a young woman living in Scotland today.

“We invite you, as a reader, leader and decision-maker, to use this report to listen to young women and be inspired by their words to bring about changes in whatever small or big way you can.”

The women who took part said they had faced inequalities through every stage of their life.

Researchers found that at school some blamed teachers, their parents and fellow pupils for creating barriers within the classroom.

Several young women discussed having been discouraged or prevented from engaging in sports or subjects of interest on the basis of their gender. One woman even recalled not being allowed to pay the saxophone because it was a “boy’s instrument”.

In employment women reported similar issues citing barriers to career progression included maternity issues and sexism in the workplace. Several women said they put off having children in the belief that their career would stall after becoming a parent.

With regards to relationships, young women aged between 16 and 20 particularly felt stereotypes had an adverse effect on them with many saying that it was still seen as a marker of their “success” if they had a boyfriend.

The media, it was felt, doesn’t do much to help. Many young women described a sense of discomfort about public scrutiny of themselves and other women. Magazine articles aimed at women, for example, focus on “dressing for success” and said there were not many famous women who are not attractive.

The report has been foreword by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said she was “keenly aware” of her responsibility to inspire and encourage young women to fulfil their dreams.

“Fully empowering women is a huge benefit to everyone in society,” she said. “It’s probably the single simplest way in which we can sustainably increase our productive potential and significantly boost our economy.

“I don’t believe we can continue to underuse the talents of half of our population. Equality isn’t just women’s problem, it’s a problem we all have to solve.

“I hope that young women in Scotland feel that they have a platform to succeed and to make goals to be the best they can be. That’s why research such as the Status of Young Women in Scotland is important as it shines a light on the issues still facing young women in Scotland and where we must do more to make sure they can maximise their potential.”



Be the first to comment.