Public Engagement

Collaboration is at the core of how WiSE operates: within academia, in terms of working interdisciplinary cooperation with academics, researchers and postgraduate scholars nationally and through our international networks across Europe, the US, Australia and Japan. Just as importantly we collaborate outside the University, in terms of working with civil society partners including government and community organisations, service providers and activist organisations working for social change.

WiSE was specifically founded to bring a feminist perspective on public policy decisions and processes in Scotland and to build knowledge and enhance skills in feminist economic and public policy analysis. The contribution of those who have lived experience of social and economic inequalities is essential to the work of the WiSE and we value the ongoing development and nurturance of partnerships with a range of civil society partners who help to inform and develop our teaching, research and continuing professional education activities. Our aim is to both inform and help shape policy and research in a range of economic equality, gender and social justice related areas. Our engagement with the world beyond the campus is in line both with GCU’s Strategy 2020 and because GCU is a signatory to the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s 'Engaged University' manifesto, which supports the higher education sector making a vital, strategic and valued contribution to 21st-century society through its public engagement activity.

Civil Society

Taking perspectives and experience from academia and government and making the knowledge and skills accessible to women working in their communities as workers, trade union representatives, members of local or national groups and campaigning organisations, and women and men policy and decision makers is a core part of how WiSE works. WiSE members’ activity includes

  • Scottish Women’s Budget Group. Angela O’Hagan, Convenor 2006 - Present
  • STUC Women’s Committee Annual Weekend Schools 2010 -2015
  • “Economics for Equality” feminist economic and public policy analysis knowledge transfer
  • European Gender Budgeting Network and UK Women’s Budget Group
Policy Process

Influencing the policy process through the formal institutions of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government and through membership of expert groups and commissions has been a key way in which WiSE engages policy and decision makers in transformative, feminist public policy analysis. Examples include:

  • Equalities Budget Advisory Group of the Scottish Government – Angela O’Hagan/Ailsa McKay
  • Commission on Local Tax Reform – Angela O’Hagan, Commissioner
  • Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee. Evidence from Prof Diane Elson, Morag Gillespie, Angela O’Hagan informed the Committee’s Women and Social Security Inquiry and final report 
  • Equal Opportunities Committee (2013 and multiple sessions previously)
  • Finance Committee (2013 and multiple sessions previously)
  • Local Government Committee
Developing gender aware analysis and practice
  • Close the Gap Steering Group -Angela O’Hagan
  • EQUATE Scotland/SEMTA - Emily Thomson