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Women’s advisory council calls for commission on gender equality in education

Generation Equal report - credit National Advisory Council on Women and Girls

Women’s advisory council calls for commission on gender equality in education

A commission to look at barriers to gender equality in education should be established by the Scottish Government, a government advisory body has said.

The National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG), set up by Nicola Sturgeon to recommend ways to tackle gender inequality in Scotland, has called for the commission into gender neutral education.

This would examine how schooling shapes attitudes to gender, from early years to the senior phase of secondary school.

Despite the fact girls tend to outperform boys at school, this does not usually translate into ambition and career success. This could be because of a gendered curriculum or because of wider attitudes and culture.

In its Generation Equal report, the NACWG recommends the commission should be independent of key bodies such as Education Scotland.

The call comes as part of a wider set of recommendations in the NACWG’s first report, including a holistic and systemic approach to gender equality and work and incorporating the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) into Scots law.

Funded childcare parental leave should be extended, while the Scottish Government’s ten-year National Performance Framework should also reflect gender equality, it said.

Introducing the report, NACWG independent chair Louise Macdonald said global movements such as anti-harassment campaign #MeToo, which responded to the allegations surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, had created an appetite for change.

Her foreword said: “We collectively recognise that the time for bold action is now. The demand for mainstreaming gender equality is urgent. All recognise that the pace of change needs to speed up because our women and girls – and boys and men – deserve nothing less.”

Katie Horsburgh, 18, represents Girlguiding Scotland on the NACWG.

“I am so proud to have been given the opportunity to bring my voice as a young woman to the table, and it’s very exciting to see my views represented,” she said.

“I am confident that these recommendations have the potential to make Scotland a beacon of gender equality, and I’m excited to see our next steps towards creating Generation Equal.”

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