Gender equality put in international spotlight

Wed, 26 Jun 2019 21:30:00 BST
Professor Naila Kabeer, President of IAFFE
Professor Naila Kabeer, President of IAFFE

Scotland's record on gender equality will be put in the international spotlight at a major economic conference at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Delegates from across the globe will gather for the 28th Annual Conference of the International Association for Feminist Economics, from 27-29 June.

Scotland was chosen to host the conference partly due to the international interest generated by the country’s work to improve gender analysis and outcomes for women in the economy.

More than 350 delegates are registered to attend with economists travelling from across North America, Europe, Africa, India, and Australia.

Professor Naila Kabeer, of the London School of Economics and President of IAFFE, said: "We want to know what it is that is happening in Scotland that is making some of the positive changes we hear about possible, and what the rest of the UK and other economies can learn from it.

"Scotland might be a small country but it has aspirations for social and economic justice that reflect the themes of our conference this year and our wider focus as feminist economists. 

"We are looking for different ways to draw economic, social and political benefit for all women and men, that makes women’s work – paid and unpaid – visible, and therefore meaningful, in economic policymaking."

The conference focuses on the need to address inequalities through solidarity and intersectional approaches to the lived realities of people’s lives, the process to drive policy change and the milestones achieved over the last 25 years of feminist economics.

Professor Sara Cantillon, Director of the WISE Centre for Economic Justice at GCU, said: "We, at Glasgow Caledonian University, are delighted to be hosting the IAFFE conference and we feel it gives recognition for the progress made on gender equality in Scotland.

"It puts a spotlight on Glasgow, on Scotland and on how the Scottish Government and public agencies are addressing the diverse needs and experiences of people.

"We are also marking 20 years of the Scottish Parliament and the challenges that lie ahead. WISE is making a significant contribution to policy in Scotland with its focus on employment and labour markets, public and economic policy, migration, and the care economy. These are global issues with local relevance as they characterise everyday life for people in Scotland."

Delegates will also attend a special plenary session on Gender and Scotland’s Economy where they hope to learn about the work carried out to advance equal pay, embed gender analysis in public finances, and reform welfare to the expansion of childcare and towards equal representation on all public boards. 

The session will be chaired by Dr Angela O’Hagan, Deputy Director of the WISE Centre for Economic Justice at GCU, and will feature Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie MSP, Lady Susan Rice, Chair of Scottish Fiscal Commission, Caroline Gardner, Auditor General, Emma Ritch, Executive Director of Engender, and Talat Yaqoob, Executive Director of Equate Scotland.

Delegates will also hear how feminist advocacy from campaigners, universities, trade unions, and politicians, has helped mainstream gender equality into public policymaking in Scotland.