Reported by The National – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
IN a country in which women outnumber men, only 37% of books published in Scotland are by women, according to a new report.
The first research findings released by the Represent, Object, Advocate, Rewrite (ROAR) group have revealed that gender inequality in the Scottish literary sector remains structural and persistent.
Founded in 2016, ROAR works to combat inequality in Scottish writing and publishing. With members from Scottish PEN, Creative Scotland, Scottish Book Trust, Waterstones, Glasgow Women’s Library and more, ROAR represents voices from across the literary sector.
The findings come from research by doctoral researcher Christina Neuwirth. Her report, Women of Words: Gender equality in contemporary writing and publishing in Scotland, was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities.
Her findings are conclusive: from January to December 2017, only 37% of authors whose books were published in Scotland were women – 14.5% lower than the ratio of women in the general population.
The genre in which women fared the worst was non-fiction about Scotland – only four women were published in 2017, compared to 30 men. In the thriller, mystery and crime genre, double the number of men were published, and for the humour and sports books category, no women were published at all.
There were only three genres in which women were more represented than men – literary narrative non-fiction, in which nine women were published compared to one man; and romance fiction, with 11 women authors and three male authors.