The Scottish Government has published Scotland’s Equality Evidence Strategy 2017-2021 on 17 Jul 2017.

The strategy’s vision for Scotlands is that “equality evidence base becomes more wide-ranging and robust, enabling national and local policy makers to develop sound, inclusive policy and measure the impact on all of Scotland’s equality groups.”

The strategy looks at evidencing the nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 as well as intersectional evidence and Socio-economic disadvantage. Evidence Gaps have been identified as follows:

  • Race and Ethnicity
    • There is a lack of evidence on uptake of available support for business owners and entrepreneurs from minority ethnic communities, and whether the support on offer meets people’s needs.
    • There is a lack of data on representation on local level structures however it is generally believed that representation is low in these structures too.
  • Religion, Faith and Belief
    • More nuanced data on islamophobic and religious hate crime was cited by stakeholders as an evidence gap and there was a call for more detail in this area to develop understanding and assist more informed policy development.
    • The impact of referendums on religious groups was seen as an area where new data and evidence would be welcomed. S
    • Religion and low income was considered to be a data gap.
  • Age: Older people
    • Baseline information is required to help future measurement of isolation and
    • People who are in more physical or elementary occupations are more likely to retire at a pensionable age and may be more at risk of social isolation.. Some research in this area could aid understanding of another important intersectional gap
    • Stakeholders identified evidence gaps relating to volunteering data and
      analysis. These gaps exist not only for age and older people but across the
      protected characteristics.
    • Pensioner Employment analysis and Age discrimination in employment
    • Older carers’ data, Accessible housing, accessible transport, accessible IT are all areas where it would be useful to obtain more data for older people.
  • Age: Younger people
    • an improved evidence base to understand how poverty is experienced by younger adults and children with different protected characteristics is also required.
    • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and Life Chances of Young People in Scotland
    • post-school transitions, data on  quality of destinations, and the experiences and difficulties young people have in plotting a route from school to employment
  • Disability
    • Measurement of rights
    • broader health and social interaction impacts on those who are at the margins of social care who could experience most cuts to services
    • SDS in relation to social class and emergin inequalities
    • Research to explore why people with learning difficulties have lower than average life expectancy
    • Employment – the majority of disabled people who do not work say this is due to their impairment, but this could be due to not having had the opportunity to work in an appropriate environment. In some cases, the technology is not advanced enough to make the workplace accessible and some new research could inform this area.
    • British Sign Language (BSL)
      • the need for a comprehensive review of the current BSL/English
        interpreting landscape, including skill levels, training and regulation.
      • challenges for deaf children in South Asian communities where they get taught BSL which is not their home language and the challenges for parents
  • Gender and Pregnancy and Maternity
    • Gender Index – The Scottish Government intend to publish a Gender Index in
      summer 2017
    • The pay gap for older women was raised as an intersectional evidence gap as
      data sources may not fully capture informal work.
    • international research around the effects and success of mandatory paternity leave for fathers and also analysis of data in Scotland of the uptake of shared parental leave
    • More exploration around evidence on good quality part-time work would be
      useful to stakeholders
    • Stakeholders felt that there is more evidence available for some forms of violence against women and girls (e.g. domestic abuse, rape) than others (e.g.
      commercial sexual exploitation, ‘honour’ based violence, and child sexual abuse).
    • Civic Equality – more research on women’s civic equality and barriers to
      participation in political life is required and this could also include intersectional links to ethnic minority groups
    • gender-disaggregated data for care experiences in relation to children and young people, and young women’s attitudes in relation to confidence and selfesteem
    • more intersectional gender data is required around abortion particularly for minority ethnic women and those with disabilities
    • the need for analysts to ensure that data systems are set up to provide useful equality and gender equality data at the outset
  • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Sex Characteristics
    • international evidence and models of good practice from other countries that already have a lower age limit for legal gender recognition
    • Research into the reasons why the number of people who apply for legal gender recognition seem much lower than the numbers attending Gender Identity Clinics (GICs)
    • the effects of the cost of an application could provide useful evidence
    • evidence on medical procedures on any babies born with intersex variations, and research on what support, advice and guidance is given to the parents of children born with intersex variations.
    • Improved evidence on the provision of health services for LGBTI people could
      help improve services
    • Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools
    • School Attainment results broken down by sexual orientation and gender identity
    • Improved data and data reporting on sexual orientation and gender identity hate crime (including intersectional hate crime) and on court outcomes would be beneficial, particularly in light of Lord Bracadale’s independent review of hate crime.
    • research on trans people’s experiences of the criminal justice system and online hate crime
    • Understanding income and poverty for LGBT people

The strategy first will look at establishing priority evidence gaps, with the next step of considering the most cost effective way to fill these. Following the model below:

SG 2017-2021 Eq Evidence Gaps