Reported by The Guardian – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Radical proposals intended to make Scotland a world leader in gender equality have been put forward in the first annual report from the country’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls.

The recommendations include offering two months of paid paternity leave, 50 hours of free childcare a week for all children aged between six months and five years old, and establishing a world-leading process for complainants of sexual violence.

The report, published on Friday, also calls on the Scottish government to legislate for local and national candidate quotas for all political parties by the 2021 Holyrood elections, which would require devolution of specific powers from Westminster.

It also recommends the creation of a What Works? Institute to test evidence-based approaches to changing public attitudes to equality, a commission to examine how to embed gender equality at all levels of the education system, better data gathering on the impact of the media on attitudes to women and girls, and the criminalisation of misogynistic harassment.

The council, whose 16 members include Vicky Featherstone, Helena Kennedy and Katherine Grainger, was established in 2017 by the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who took her inspiration from Barack Obama’s White House Council on Women and Girls.

The council’s independent chairwoman, Louise Macdonald, who is also chief executive of the national youth charity Young Scot, acknowledged the recommendations reflected scale of ambition rather than direct local solutions, describing the task as “bringing a revolutionary lens” to the issue.


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