Constitutional Futures: gender equality matters in a new Scotland Report from STUC Womenâ€™s Committee on a series of forthcoming seminars The STUC is supporting a Programme of seminars and academic work, which will consider gendered analysis and equality issues in the constitutional debate, in the run-up to the 2014 Referendum in Scotland. A funding application was submitted to the Scottish Universities Insight Institute by University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling, with support from the STUC, Nordic Horizons, and Engender, and a grant awarded as one of their Programmes of Knowledge Exchange. The Programme team includes: Dr Fiona Mackay, University of Edinburgh; Professor Kirsten Rummery, University of Stirling; Lesley Riddoch, Nordic Horizons; Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary, STUC; Kate Higgins; and Nikki Kandirikiria, Director, Engender. The intention is to bring together academic research and expertise with womenâ€™s organisations, civic society, trade unions, and policy makers to consider the political, economic and social implications of different constitutional options for a more gender equal society. Womenâ€™s voices and experiences will be fed into the wider policy debates, with a view to increasing public participation in the run-up to the Referendum. Evidence and practice will be shared at the three seminars, including through international speakers and input. It is also hoped that politicians will be engaged in the various topics. Themes have been agreed for three seminars: Care and constitutional futures: (6/ 7th December 2012, Glasgow) Economy, work and constitutional futures: (17/18 th January 2013, Glasgow) Citizenship, representation and constitutional futures: (14/15 th March 2013, Edinburgh)
Policy briefings will be prepared for wider dissemination, blogs and articles will be submitted to a range of websites and publications, and a publication ‘Towards a Fairer Future for Scotland? International Lessons in Gender Equality’ is expected at the end of the Programme. Longer term, it is hoped that the Programme will inform other events, of a ‘roadshow’ nature, across Scotland, late 2013 and into 2014, seeking to involve more women in the debates around constitutional futures for Scotland, and the different implications to be considered for women and for public policy. The resources for this will probably require further discussion with partners and existing networks. The STUC will be fully involved in the preparation of the three main seminars, and will be working to ensure full participation of women from a range of workplaces, bringing that workplace experience together with the academic expertise in social policy. Involvement in this Programme complements the consultative work which was undertaken by the STUC during September and October, and it is hoped that it will also allow issues arising from the STUC consultative events to be fed into the Gender Equality Programme seminars.
Ann Henderson, STUC Assistant Secretary, Oct 2012.