Whether in local or national politics, in boardrooms or at home, women continue to face major disadvantages across all sections of UK society.Women across Scotland and the UK suffer disadvantages in all areas of life. Women working full-time on average earn almost 10% less than men; for part-time workers the gap is almost 20% an hour. Fifteen per cent of female pensioners were in poverty in retirement in 2010/11. Just over 20% of Westminster MPs are female and only 15% of board members on major British companies are female .
Women still carry out the majority of unpaid work in the home and on average work considerably more hours than men in total. One in four women are subjected to domestic violence in her lifetime, while there is significant under-reporting of rape and sexual assault cases, coupled with a low conviction rate.
This week, a new report on gender equality has been published by Engender to coincide with a conference discussing gender issues and the impact of the constitutional change arising from the Independence Referendum. It considers what constitutional arrangements might assist in promoting women and men to have equal opportunities in life. I took part of the discussions on ideas to enable women to become selected and elected to political office.
A copy of the report is available from Engender's website at: http://www.engender.org.uk/news/blog/engender-launches-a-report-on-gender-equality-and-the-independence-debate/