Women of an Independent Mind: The Future of Women’s Equality in Scotland

Overview —

Dr Angela O’Hagan outlines a series of proposals for how to work towards women’s equality in an independent Scotland


Dr Angela O’Hagan

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Women are half the population of Scotland and have plenty more to say than can be contained in a short paper like this. The intention here is to highlight some issues that are central to women’s independence and essential to take forward in an independent Scotland.

While independence offers the potential for significant change for women’s social, economic and political equality in Scotland, it will not of itself deliver women’s equality and emancipation.

This report sets out challenges for everyone, but especially politicians, policy makers and elites and demands of them the political will and determination to deliver a more equal Scotland.


― Women’s unequal economic, financial, and social status compared to men’s is persistent and enduring. Women earn less, drive less, and are less visible in political and public life.

― The lack of gendered analysis that captures and dismantles constraints of gender relations means public policy decisions on taxation, skills and employment, economic policy, welfare, health, housing, and transport, for example, will continue to impact differently on women and men, generally to women’s disadvantage. None of these issues falls into the stereotypical category of “women’s issues” but they are all women’s issues.

― This report argues for such a gendered analysis in multiple aspects of policy-making in Scotland.

― Areas of particular concern examined by the report include: care (including childcare), immigration, economic development, taxation, economic wellbeing and the allocation of public resources.

― A future Scotland has the opportunity to recast gender roles and relations, creating a more progressive and equal society no longer defined by out-dated and harmful stereotypes of what it means to be a woman or man or the roles we play in work, in families, and in politics.

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