Scotland’s Equality Evidence Strategy 2017-2021 – Scottish Government (July 2017)

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

Fife Council Information and Statistics on Equality Groups in Fife 2016 (published February 2017)

Fife Council published a set of Information and Statistics on Equality Groups in Fife 2016 on 1 February 2017. This document was developed to help service providers, groups and anyone interested in equality issues to be better informed about equality groups in Fife. In particular the information will help statutory organisations to better plan and deliver services which meet the needs of the community.

Click here to download the full report as a word document. If you require software to view this document, click here to get the Microsoft Word Viewer. Click here for a PDF version. For more information on this report, contact Fife Council Equalities Unit by:

Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 12 42 Contact Equalities Unit online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT.

KnowFife QBrief – Equalities Characteristics in Fife (September 2016)

Fife Council Research Team published this report to provide an overview of equalities characteristics in Fife under the themes of Age, Sex, Gender reassignment, Sexual orientation, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Ethnicity and Identity, Religion and Belief, and Disability. It draws on information from the Scottish Household Survey 2014, and the Scottish Survey Core Questions 2014, a pooled sample from the three main Scottish Population Surveys, that is now starting to deliver improved equality data at the local level.

Key Information

  • More younger people live in private rented or social rented accommodation, while more older people own their own homes.
  • More older people have higher qualifications, savings, and manage well financially.
  • More younger people report neighbourhood problems, and feel less safe.
  • While younger people have better health, they are more likely to smoke.
  • Adults are more likely to experience discrimination in later working age.
  • Older people have more confidence in the Police.
  • More women than men in Fife, and women have a stronger sense of belonging.
  • More men work full-time. More women work part-time or look after the home.
  • Older women are less likely to hold a driving licence.
  • Males feel safer than females, and have different views on the ability of the Police.
  • The majority of adults identify as heterosexual, with a minority identifying as LGBTi
  • One in three adults are single, and one in two adults are married or are in a civil partnership. Younger people are more likely to be single and older people are more
    likely to be married or in a civil partnership.
  • The economic situation of women depends on whether children are in the household.
  • The majority of people living in Fife are born in Scotland and identify as White Scottish.
  • Fife has a very high proportion of people identifying with no religion.
  • One in five adults have a long term physical or mental health condition.
  • Those with a long term condition do not rate themselves as having good health, and are less likely to be employed full-time
  • Older households are more likely to include someone with a long standing illness, health problem or disability.
  • Households with a long-term condition are more likely to be living with low income, and living in social rented accommodation.
  • Adults with a long standing physical or mental condition feel less safe than those without a long-term condition, and are more likely to have experienced discrimination.

Click here to download a more detailed PDF of this report. For more information about Fife Council Research Team, contact:

William Penrice, Research Manager 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 43 30 Contact William Penrice online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT

EHRC Scotland – Is Scotland Fairer?

Is Scotland Fairer? is the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Scottish standalone supplement to the statutory five-yearly report on equality and human rights progress across the UK, Is Britain Fairer?.

It looks at trends in equality (i.e. 5 year periods) and details where progress has been made as well pointing out challenges. It applies to Scotland and to the UK as a whole, however for some themes, Local Authority level data is also available. Most of the core quantitative data used in this report covers the period from 2008 to 2013 and draws from major surveys and administrative data compiled by public bodies.

Key points:

The report sets out seven key equality and human rights challenges for Scotland that would require action taken at Scotland or UK level. The order below does not indicate any level of priority and the list is not exhaustive:

  1. Improve the evidence and the ability to assess how fair society is.
  2. Raise standards and close attainment gaps in education.
  3. Encourage fair recruitment, development and reward in employment.
  4. Support improved living conditions in cohesive communities.
  5. Encourage democratic participation and ensure access to justice.
  6. Ensure that all people can access the health services they need.
  7. Tackle harassment and abuse of people who share particular protected characteristics.

Those action points were drawn up from evidence collected across a range of themes including Education and learning; Work, income and the economy; Health and care; Justice, security and the right to life; The individual and society. The areas of progress as well as equality issues and challenges are summarised below:

Education and learning

Areas of progress over the review period include:

  • Educational attainment in schools improved.
  • Exclusions from school fell.
  • The percentages of men and women with no qualifications (of any kind) fell.
  • The percentage of people aged 25 and over with a degree increased.

Challenges include:

  • The level of improvement in attainment differed for individuals withp articular protected characteristics, and attainment gaps persist.
  • Gypsy/Traveller pupils continued to have the lowest educational attainment rates.
  • Children from poorer backgrounds performed less well than their peers.
  • The attainment of looked after children was well below that of other pupils. The gap
    narrowed but remained large.
  • Exclusion rates remained high for some groups, including Gypsy/Travellers, boys, and pupils with additional support needs (ASN).
  • The proportion of young people not in education, employment, and training (NEET) has not changed over time.
  • Bullying is a particular issue for some children and young people who share
    particular protected characteristics –including disabled, and lesbian, gay and
    bisexual (LGB) children and young people.
  • Women and disabled people remained more likely to have no qualifications

Work, income and the economy

Areas of progress over the review period include:

  • There was increasing recognition of the human rights violations that arise as a result of trafficking, forced labour, servitude and exploitation.
  • There was a fall in the proportion of households that did not meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, and a fall in the proportion of children living in households that did not meet this standard.
  • Homelessness fell and there was a reduction in the number of households in temporary accommodation.

Challenges include:

  • The overall employment rate in 2013 was lower than in 2008.
  • Women were less likely to be in work than men, and those women who were in work were less likely to be in senior positions and more likely to be in part-time work.
  • Age-related employment gaps widened – young people were less likely to be in
    work and saw the greatest increase in unemployment between 2008 and 2013.
  • Unemployment rates increased more for disabled people than for non-disabled people between 2008 and 2013.
  • Unemployment rates were significantly higher for people from some ethnic minorities compared with White people.
  • Modern Apprenticeships show clear gender segregation and low levels of access for
    ethnic minorities and disabled people.
  • Average hourly pay declined in Scotland between 2008 and 2013. The steepest declines were for younger workers.
  • In 2013, children living in households headed by someone from an ethnic minority were more likely to live in relative poverty after housing costs compared with those in households headed by a White person.
  • Material deprivation for working age disabled people was higher than for non‑disabled people. The gap did not change between 2008 and 2013.

Health and care

Areas of progress over the review period

  • The gap in life expectancy between men and women narrowed between 2007–09
    and 2011–13. Scotland saw a greater decrease in this gap than England and Wales.
  • The suicide rate decreased between 2008 and 2013.
  • Although higher proportions of adults from ethnic minorities were at risk of poor mental health in 2008, this was not the case in 2012.
  • The proportion of young people (aged 13 and 15) drinking once a week fell between 2008 and 2013. The proportion of young people smoking also reduced between 2008 and 2013.

Challenges include:

  • Life expectancy is lower for both men and women in the most deprived areas of Scotland than in the least deprived areas.
  • There is little evidence about life expectancy for those who share protected characteristics other than gender.
  • Increasing proportions of adults described their health as bad or very bad between 2008 and 2012, driven by the increase in women describing their health as bad or very bad.
  • Self-reported health status for people with some protected characteristics was worse (in the 2011 Census), including Gypsy/Travellers (compared with the general population) and older Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women (compared with men
    in these ethnic groups).
  • Between 2008 and 2012, there was an increase in the proportion of adults aged 25 to 34 at risk of poor mental health.
  • The suicide rate is higher for men and for people living in deprivation.

Justice, security and the right to life

Areas of progress over the review period include:

  • There was a fall in the homicide rate, specifically for male victims and victims aged 16 to 50.
  • There was a fall in the proportion of adults reporting they are victims of violent crime, sexual violence and domestic violence.
  • There was a fall in the proportion of people who feel unsafe being alone at home at night, or walking alone in the local area after dark.
  • Confidence in the criminal justice system increased.
  • Police use of stop and search has been reviewed and is under reform.
  • There was a drop in both serious and minor assaults between prisoners in prisons.

Challenges include:

  • Police-recorded hate crime in relation to disability and sexual orientation increased.
  • Some people – women, disabled people, older people and people who had never worked or were long-term unemployed –being more likely to report feeling unsafe.
  • Confidence in the criminal justice system was lower for disabled people (compared
    with non-disabled people) and older people (compared with other age groups).
  • Concerns were voiced by regulators about overcrowding in prisons.

The individual and society

Areas of progress over the review period include:

  • Legislation enabling same-sex couples to marry was introduced.
  • Public acceptance of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual continued to rise.
  • Most people felt they could rely on the support of family, friends and neighbours.
  • There were small improvements to the gender balance of our elected representatives.
  • There was increased political participation (including of young people) and an increased proportion of people perceiving that they can influence local decisions.
  • British Sign Language was recognised as a language in 2011 and the British Sign
    Language (Scotland) Act was passed in 2015.

Challenges include:

  • There were gaps in evidence in relation to:
    • the prevalence of forced marriage
    • whether people feel able to practise their religion or belief freely
    • stigma, discrimination and harassment in relation to transgender people, and
    • Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
  • There was little improvement in public attitudes to mental ill health.
  • Stigma remained towards Gypsy/Travellers and Roma people.
  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people and ethnic minorities experienced harassment.
  • The notification period for peaceful assembly remained long.


Further information

For more information on this report or and general enquiries contact  about the EHRC Commission in Scotland by:

Telephone: 0141 228 5910, or

BSL users can also contact via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the contactSCOTLAND website.