Commemorative conference marks the life of leading feminist economist

19 January 2015

Commemorative conference marks the life of leading feminist economist

The late Professor Ailsa McKay

The life and work of internationally respected feminist economist, the late Professor Ailsa McKay, will be celebrated by leading politicians, policy makers and academics at a conference in her honour.

Professor McKay, who died in March 2014, is recognised for her key role in influencing government policy decisions that affect the lives of women, children and families.

The conference will highlight Professor McKay’s work in championing the position of women in Scotland’s economy through gender budgeting; her call for a transformation in childcare, whereby she urged greater investment in childcare provision as a common good and a source of employment as well as improving women’s access to paid employment by increasing provision of affordable childcare; and the promotion of a citizen’s basic income.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP will join politicians, international scholars and civil- society leaders at the event. He is expected to speak of the profound influence Professor McKay’s work had on government policy.

“Ailsa aspired for gender equality, challenged existing norms, and worked to improve the quality of life for women, their children and families. WiSE was Ailsa’s vision and the work of WiSE continues.  We are honoured to celebrate her life and the outstanding contribution she made in Scotland and on an international platform to enrich the lives of women and our society” says Jim Campbell, Acting Director of WiSE.

The conference is organised by the Women in Scotland’s Economy (WiSE) Research Centre (WiSE), which was established by Professor McKay. The keynote address will be delivered by the esteemed Professor Marilyn Waring of Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Honorary Doctorate of GCU.  Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP and former First Minister Alex Salmond MSP will also address delegates. Other key speakers include GCU Visiting Professor Diane Elson; Honorary Professor and Chief Economic Advisor to the Scottish Government, Dr Gary Gillespie; and distinguished academic colleagues from other UK, European and Canadian universities.

The conference will be held at Glasgow Caledonian University on Thursday, January 22 to Friday, January 23.

Visit the WiSE website for more information on the work of the research group