Gender Audit 1997
177 Pages

Gender Audit 1997


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GENDER AUDIT 1997This is the fifth report on the position of women in Scottishlife, compiled on behalf of ENGENDER, an information,research and networking organisation for women inScotland.Editors: Fiona Mackay andChrisma BouldContributors: Esther Breitenbach, Alice Brown,Jill Brown, Chrisma Bould andElspeth Hosie, Megan Ciotti,Sarah Coleman, Lorna Guthrie,Fiona Mackay, Gill Scott,Connie Smith, and Jan Webb.Published by ENGENDER, 1997ISBN: 0 9523593 4 0.Print version by Edinburgh University Reprographics UnitWeb version also available on Engender site: version by Lesley Duff, Quine Online, call for action 3Introduction 5Overview 10PART ONE: COMMENTARIESParty Politics and the 1997 General Election 25Women, Equality and a Scottish Parliament 32Poverty 40Violence 52PART TWO: UPDATES & STATISTICAL TABLESArts 72Business 80Childcare 83Education 88Employment 102Family Trends and Family Law 111Health 118Housing 131Law 135Local Government 140Media 145Poverty 149Public Bodies 155Trade Unions 163Violence 164Voluntary Organisations 172End note 176What is Engender 177A call for actionENGENDER has long argued that the development of accurate data on women’s lives is essentialif action to empower women is to work, if targets are to be set and if progress is to be monitored. has demanded that the production, collation and publication of statistics which ‘putScottish women in ...



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This is the fifth report on the position of women in Scottish
life, compiled on behalf of ENGENDER, an information,
research and networking organisation for women in
Editors: Fiona Mackay and
Chrisma Bould
Contributors: Esther Breitenbach, Alice Brown,
Jill Brown, Chrisma Bould and
Elspeth Hosie, Megan Ciotti,
Sarah Coleman, Lorna Guthrie,
Fiona Mackay, Gill Scott,
Connie Smith, and Jan Webb.
Published by ENGENDER, 1997
ISBN: 0 9523593 4 0.
Print version by Edinburgh University Reprographics Unit
Web version also available on Engender site:
PDF version by Lesley Duff, Quine Online,
A call for action 3
Introduction 5
Overview 10
Party Politics and the 1997 General Election 25
Women, Equality and a Scottish Parliament 32
Poverty 40
Violence 52
Arts 72
Business 80
Childcare 83
Education 88
Employment 102
Family Trends and Family Law 111
Health 118
Housing 131
Law 135
Local Government 140
Media 145
Poverty 149
Public Bodies 155
Trade Unions 163
Violence 164
Voluntary Organisations 172
End note 176
What is Engender 177A call for action
ENGENDER has long argued that the development of accurate data on women’s lives is essential
if action to empower women is to work, if targets are to be set and if progress is to be monitored. has demanded that the production, collation and publication of statistics which ‘put
Scottish women in the picture’ becomes a priority of the government as a necessary precondition to
the effective monitoring and promotion of positive change.
Women and girls in Scotland still experience considerable inequality and disadvantage in economic,
social and political life as compared to men and boys. This disadvantage is further compounded by
their relative exclusion as a focus of research and the unevenness in the collection and availability
of statistics disaggregated by both country/region and gender. Many other organisations in Scotland,
notably the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities,
have argued similarly.
The government does, of course, produce a large volume of statistics, and some of those statistics
are gender disaggregated. Indeed many of the statistics used in the Gender Audit come from various
government publications. However data collection about women is uneven; good in some areas and
poor in others. Furthermore not all information that is gathered is necessarily published; relevant
statistics are not always easy to locate; and are seldom collated in ways which present a comprehensive
A related issue is research. In-depth research is vital to fill gaps in knowledge, to explore complex
issues beneath headline statistics, to provide different perspectives; and to potentially offer
explanations and pointers for change. However Scottish women face a double deficit: firstly, because
little research is done on women as a group; and secondly, because what research is carried out
tends to focus upon women in England although purporting to be British. A recent research review
carried out for the EOC in Scotland highlighted the lack of research which is both gender and
country specific. Research which addresses the multiple discrimination faced by certain groups of
women within Scotland, for example, black and ethnic minority women, lesbians, disabled women
and rural women, is still rarer (Brown, Breitenbach and Myers, 1994, currently being updated).
This information deficit in relation to the position of women in Scotland, and their diverse experiences
and needs, matters in a number of key ways.
• Policy makers and politicians at British, Scottish and local level may be making decisions
which affect the daily lives of women on the basis of poor and partial information.
• A lack of information presents real difficulties for women, as individuals and in groups, in
their campaigns for greater equality.
• The obscuring of the position of women in Scottish society frustrates or limits the ability of
women’s groups, the government and other organisations to monitor change - either positive
or negative.
ENGENDER has done its best to fill the information gap for half a decade. Since 1993 we have
produced an annual Gender Audit; it has been produced on an unpaid basis, with tiny resources by
a small group of volunteers. Our key aim in producing the Gender Audit is to make information
about women in Scotland accessible to as wide an audience as possible. We hope that readers will
find the information contained in the 1997 Gender Audit useful. We stress that the contents do not
represent a comprehensive analysis of all available sources. ENGENDER does not have the financial
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 3and other resources required for this type of exercise.
We note Labour’s commitment, prior to the election, to improve the collection and collation of
gender statistics; and the monitoring of the gender impact of government legislation. We also note
that the production of good, transparent gender data was a priority action area agreed by the UK
government as part of the Beijing Platform of Action which emerged from the UN Fourth World
Conference on Women in 1995. In a number of other countries, gender statistics are produced by
government departments as a matter of course, and are published annually to allow for the monitoring
of progress across all government policy areas. For instance in Sweden, the annual gender report is
Statistics Sweden’s best seller!
ENGENDER believes that the time has come to move beyond words. We call upon the Scottish
Office as a priority to produce its own annual Audit, disaggregated by gender, region, and where
appropriate, race, disability, sexuality and age; and to chart the progress each year towards gender
equality between women and men in Scotland.
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 4Introduction
This is the fifth annual Gender Audit - the latest stage of a major project to research and map the
position of women in all areas of Scottish life and society - produced by ENGENDER, the
information, research and networking organisation. Drawing from varied sources, ranging from
government statistics and academic research to annual reports from voluntary organisations, the
Gender Audit pulls together available information and statistics on a range of areas and offers
commentary on key points. The Audit is essential reading for all individuals and groups who are
interested in the position of women in Scottish society - and who want positive change.
In 1996 ENGENDER was awarded a European Commission Scottish Equality Award. In announcing
their decision, the judges said that the Award for the Promotion of Gender Equality was made
“in recognition of the unique and comprehensive body of work the Gender Audit represents and
of the contribution it makes to raising awareness of gender issues.”
ENGENDER published its first Gender Audit in 1993 largely as a response to the demand from
women for more information. To date there has been very little relevant research on women in
Scotland; and the statistics that are available are often inaccessible, insufficiently detailed, or out of
date. This means that the full picture remains hidden. The aim of the Gender Audit is three-fold:
• to make information about women accessible to women - as a resource and a campaigning
• to campaign for better information.
• to monitor change over time.
The General Election of May 1997 and the landslide victory by the Labour Party has radically
changed the political landscape. A record number of women MPs, both Scottish and British, has
been returned to the British Houses of Parliament; and prospects for a Scottish Parliament look
their brightest yet. The Gender Audit 1997 highlights the representation of women in party politics
after the General Election; provides an update on the campaign for ‘50/50’ representation; and
previews some of the potential opportunities that any Scottish Parliament might present for positive
change for women.
This year’s Audit also provides a detailed commentary on the issue of women and poverty, and
reports on developments in the field of violence against women, two of ENGENDER’s other priority
areas. In addition, there is an overview essay, and information on Arts, Business, Child Care,
Education, Employment, Families and Family Law, Health, Housing, Law, Local Government,
Media, Public Bodies, Trade Unions and Voluntary Organisations.
The Gender Audit is a valuable resource for campaigning, lobbying and teaching purposes. It is
deliberately produced in a format that is easy to photocopy. The Gender Audit is available on the
Engender web site. Find us at:
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 5As always we are keen to hear readers’ views on the Gender Audit. Please send any comments or
suggestions to Fiona Mackay or Chrisma Bould at:
13 Gayfield Square
c/o One Parent Famlies (Scotland)
Tel: 0131 558 9596
Fax: 0131 557 9650
web: http://www.engender
We are grateful for the help of:
June Andrews, RCN;
Sheena Briley, TRAINING 2000;
Kate Brown, Fife Zero Tolerance Co-ordinator;
Morag Brown, Scottish Local Government Information Unit;
Gillian Bruce, City of Edinburgh Council Equalities Unit;
Shona Campbell, Central Scotland Rape Crisis;
Louise Carlin and Rosina McCrae, Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust;
Kate Cavanagh, University of Glasgow;
Jean Cuthbert, Scottish Women’s Aid;
Pat Davers, BBC Scotland;
Daphne Francis, Dumfries Rape Crisis;
Saskia Gavin, Department of Public Medicine, Lothian Health;
Lily Greenan, Edinburgh Rape Crisis;
Sue Laughlin and Clare Boulton Jones, Glasgow Women’s Health Working Group;
Barbara Lindsay, CoSLA;
Cara MacDowall; Louise McLellan, Aberdeen Zero Tolerance Co-ordinator;
Lesley Orr Macdonald, CTPI, University of Edinburgh;
Annie Moelwyn-Hughes, Action for Change;
Staff at Scottish Office Home Department Statistics;
Caroline McDougall and Pamela Lamb at Scottish Office Education Statistics;
Shakti Women’s Aid;
Susan Stewart, Glasgow City Council;
Moira Tasker;
Siân Thomas, RCN;
members of the Women’s Co-ordination Group;
Denise Young, Greater Glasgow Health Board;
Georgie Young;
and members of the Engender Research Group and the Engender National Committee.
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 6References
Alice Brown, Esther Breitenbach and Fiona Myers (1994 and forthcoming), Equality Issues in
Scotland: A Research Review , Research Discussion Series no.7, Manchester, EOC.
Engender (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996), Gender Audit, Edinburgh.
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 7Overview
This section aims to provide an overview of the position of women in Scottish society in 1997, and
to draw out the main points from the updates and the statistical section. No other publication to date
provides such an extensive collection of statistics and analysis of the position of women in Scottish
society, however it must be stressed that it is beyond the scope of the Gender Audit to provide a
truly comprehensive picture.
Progress is not always linear or easy to trace. In a number of fields, such as employment, wage
levels and poverty, change is very slow. Within the time scale of five Gender Audits 1993-1997,
there are instances where there has been little or no appreciable change. Therefore, this year we
have taken a closer look at one of these issues, poverty, in order to get behind the headline statistics
to discuss some of the key issues and to draw out some of the themes and implications.
In a number of areas, problems relating to the paucity or inaccessibility of data in terms of either a
gender or a Scottish focus remain. For instance, gender statistics on poverty are limited in a number
of respects: firstly, the major sources of statistics on benefits and low incomes do not give a breakdown
by sex that would allow a calculation to be made of the total numbers of women in poverty. Some
information is available, but it is incomplete.With respect to Scotland in particular, there is an
additional problem in that some sources of statistics do not give Scottish figures. But the main
reason why it is impossible to quantify accurately the numbers of women in poverty is because
much data is based on the household as a unit, rather than on individuals (see section on Poverty).
Similarly, housing statistics are not routinely broken down by gender of head of household. For
instance, latest figures show that around 84,000 properties in Scotland are classified as ‘Below
Tolerable Standard’ (BTS). The properties, mostly flats in the private sector, lack one or more standard
amenity, for instance running water or a wc for exclusive use by the household. Additionally, the
properties may have serious problems of damp etc. The statistics are not broken down by gender of
head of household, although we know from other sources that women are likely to live in poorer
quality housing than men.
This illustrates the point that, although much of the information used in the Gender Audit comes
from official sources, it is difficult to extrapolate from. Statistics which could build up a picture of
women’s lives and status in Scottish society are not centrally collated. Furthermore, not all the
information gathered on gender may be published or be widely available. For instance, the Scottish
Statistics fact card 1996, which provides key summary statistics, only contains references to gender
in its population headline figures, its life expectancy and its deaths figures.
Women and Multiple Discrimination
In particular the lack of information about the lives and needs of black and minority ethnic women,
women with disability or learning difficulties, rural women and lesbians in Scotland is striking. The
Scottish Office report, Ethnic Minorities in Scotland (Smith, 1991) referred to in previous Gender
Audits remains the only Scottish-wide collection of statistics on the minority ethnic population in
Scotland. This report covers the minority ethnic population as a whole, but gives some information
on gender differences. The report indicated that, in 1991, minority ethnic women in Scotland,
compared with minority ethnic men were:
• less likely to be employed
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 8• less likely to speak English fluently
• less likely to have educational qualifications
• less likely to participate in activities, whether religious or community based
• more likely to have friends of the same ethnic origin
• less likely to have white friends
There were, however, significant differences between minority ethnic groups.
Minority ethnic women compared with white women were:
• less likely to be employed
• more likely to be at home looking after the family
• likely to have more children
• more likely to be married
• much less likely to be divorced, separated or single parents
The statistics in the report suggested considerable differences in the experiences of minority ethnic
women and minority ethnic men; and minority ethnic women and white women. Despite the
difference, there is virtually no research focusing specifically on minority ethnic women. A research
review conducted for the Equal Opportunities Commission (Brown, Breitenbach and Myers, 1994),
which is currently being updated, found that there are a small number of local studies, which include
women and girls, but which often do not specifically focus on the issue of gender.
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in Scotland launched a Visible Women campaign in
June 1997. A national Scottish initiative, it aimed to prioritise and publicise the issues affecting
black and minority ethnic women, to promote labour market issues and dispel stereotypes. A major
conference is planned in Edinburgh in the autumn.
Scant information exists about the lives, experiences and needs of lesbians in Scotland. There is
still no legal recognition for same sex relationships. Lesbian and gay parents frequently face
prejudiced attitudes in the Courts when arrangements are being made for children after marital
breakdown, or when seeking to adopt children. Furthermore, there is currently no national legal
protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in areas such as employment.
There is some evidence that lesbians and gay men experience harrassment and violence, although at
present there are few data. Glasgow City Council launched a public education campaign in April
1997 in support of lesbian and gay citizens in Glasgow stating the Council’s public recognition of
the rights of its lesbian and gay citizens to equality of service and respect. Leaflets and posters
distributed and displayed across the city bore the message that,
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 9“lesbians and gay men are daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins,
grandparents, uncles, aunts, in-laws, adopters, carers and cared for, friends, work colleagues,
customers and service users”
and ends with the message that
“Glasgow City Council believes that lesbians and gay men are entitled to the same rights as any
other Glasgow resident.”
Similarly, the needs and experiences of women living and working in the rural areas of Scotland
have been largely invisible. Until comparatively recently, little research has been carried out into
the particular problems associated with living in rural Scotland, less still has had a gender dimension.
However, a recently published collection of research gives new insight into the lives of rural women
(Chapman and Lloyd, 1996). The issues raised include: low female economic activity rates; significant
unemployment levels including high unemployment amongst well qualified women; and the out-
migration of women to pursue further and higher education. A lack of public transport, childcare
provision and educational opportunities all act as barriers to women’s increased participation in
employment in rural communities.
Statistical data on disabled people in Scotland is poor, and what information there is does not always
differentiate by gender. Although there are a number of local studies, information on those needs
and experiences which disabled women share with other groups of women; and those needs and
interests which are distinctive remains sparse.
It should be a priority of the Scottish Office to collect and publish more comprehensive data on all
Scottish women; and to support research which fills the gaps in our knowledge of women’s diverse
lives; which gives voice to different perspectives; and which counterbalances short term priorities
and agendas with a long term strategy for positive change.
This year’s Gender Audit highlights the representation of women in party politics after the General
Election; provides an update on the campaign for ‘50/50’' representation and previews some of the
potential opportunities that any Scottish Parliament might present for positive change for women. It
also provides a detailed commentary on the issue of women and poverty, and reports on developments
in the field of violence against women, two of ENGENDER’s other priority areas.
Party Politics and the 1997 General Election
Since the publication of the last Gender Audit, there have been some major developments which
have impacted not only upon the position of women in British and Scottish politics, but also upon
the future shape of Scottish politics itself. The 1997 General Election was remarkable for a number
of reasons, not least for the record new levels of women’s representation.
• The number of women MPs doubled from the 1992 figure of 60 to a total 120 (18.2%). 102
women were elected from the Labour Party (including the Speaker, Betty Boothroyd) - almost
one-quarter of Labour’s MPs.
• There was a total number of 362 female candidates from three of the main parties - Labour,
Conservative and Liberal Democrats - some 18.8% of the total and a slight increase on 1992.
Gender Audit 1997, © Engender, Page 10