Here is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers – please feel free to contact us at ACWG@gov.scot if this section doesn’t answer your particular question.


Covid-19 Specific FAQs

We are very lucky to be in the position to continue to take forward our work with minimal disruption to allow us to continue Circle engagement and to allow the NACWG to meet digitally. Though the Covid-19 situation will affect our in person Circle engagements, the NACWG will still be able to explore the annual topic with minimal disruption to our research with members and we will still submit our annual report to the First Minister in December 2020.

As the Covid-19 situation is constantly in flux we will continue to  engage with Circle members digitally until further notice. We will update the Circle via email when the position changes. If you are not currently a Circle member and would like to receive communications from the NACWG you can register here.

Yes the Advisory Council have been meeting virtually since March and will do so until further notice. We are still publishing meeting notes and you can find there here.

We have been communicating regularly with or Circle membership. We have developed a web page to support the Circle to explore our 2020 annual topic with us. This includes videos, webinars, a podcast, articles and visuals and we will continue to update this as and when we produce new learning materials. You can find this page here.

Circle engagement continues to take place but the actual face to face events won’t, as we are operating digitally.

We are committed to navigating the current fluctuating COVID-19 situation with due concern to members, the public and colleagues. We took an early decision to operate digitally in 2020, and this will continue until further notice.

This means we will not be holding any face to face participation events until further notice, but will take forward Circle engagement digitally.

If you are not currently a Circle member and would like to receive communications from the NACWG you can register here.



General FAQs

The First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) has been established to help with the culture change that is required to progress gender equality, and to advise the First Minister on what action to take.

The role of the NACWG is to:

  • Play a key leadership role in raising our awareness as a nation of gender inequality and the wide range of related issues experienced by women and girls in Scotland today.
  • Act as a champion for positive progress and policies where these are making a meaningful difference to women and girls’ lives; and encouraging Scotland to build on any success to become a beacon for gender equality.
  • Act as a catalyst for change by providing a challenging voice to the First Minister and her team, where there are gaps in the work being undertaken to address gender.
  • Provide advice, support, and challenge to the First Minister with the objective of realising the shared goal of equality for women and girls in every community across Scotland.

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2016-17: A Plan for Scotland included a pledge to establish a First Minister’s Advisory Council for Women and Girls to help drive forward action to tackle gender inequality.

In March 2017, the First Minister appointed  Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive of Young Scot, as independent Chair of the Council and membership was announced in November 2017.

In January 2020, Dr Ima Jackson was appointed by the First Minister as Co-Chair with Louise Macdonald OBE.

It was decided at the conception stage that men and boys and those who identify as non-binary would not be invited to be NACWG members. This was to allow the NACWG the freedom of space to explore this agenda in a female only environment. Boys and men are crucial to this agenda and are encouraged to participate in the Circle and Community.

No. NACWG membership is deliberately at the size it is and has been selected to be diverse. Members also bring a particular set of skills to their role.

Yes, you can! Circle membership is open to all genders and those that don’t identify. If you’re interested in becoming a Circle member, please contact us.

The NACWG is independently Co-Chaired, and the government does not set its agenda, Scotland does. However, the Scottish Government supports the NACWG’s work with dedicated resource and secretariat support.

The Chair receives an agreed daily fee from the Scottish Government to remunerate the extensive time and effort she puts into this. The Chair has opted to donate the majority of this fee to charities working at the front line of gender inequality. NACWG members’ expenses are covered by the Scottish Government but they do not receive a daily fee.

At the inaugural meeting on 6 December 2017. We asked the Circle what the issues were and what the NACWG should concentrate on. We used this input from the Circle, as well as wider participation in the form of an Omnibus Survey, to form our initial strategy. This includes annual themes and digital Spotlights. Going forward we will work in ways of wider participation to develop this strategy.

We will publicise upcoming Spotlight topics on our digital channels, as least one month in advance.

We understand that not everyone has access to a PC, tablet or smartphone. We are encouraging group feedback though, so if no one in the group has access to this digital channel, then maybe there are community facilities available that you could utilise? If you intend to submit an individual response and you do not have access to a digital channel, maybe a friend could provide the feedback on your behalf?

The NACWG’s annual report to the First Minister will be published on this website.

The Chair of the NACWG will meet with the First Minister to discuss the findings of the report and receive feedback. This will be fed into improving the strategy of the NACWG going forward and the report will be published on our website.

All the Spotlight feedback we receive is compiled and a short report is produced for each Spotlight topic. These reports are shared with and discussed by the NACWG.  The NACWG members have access to all of the Spotlight feedback in full, including verbatim feedback submitted via the website, via social media, and via any other channel. A summary of the main themes emerging in each Spotlight is published on this website.

Given the sensitive nature of some of the Spotlight topics we believe it is important to give people the choice of giving feedback anonymously (via the website), or publicly (via social media comments). In order to maximise contributions, we do not publish the verbatim feedback we receive through the website, or through any other non-public channel such as email – only the summary mentioned above.

The feedback we receive on Spotlight topics is one of many different inputs the NACWG considers when deciding what recommendations to make to the First Minister. Not every idea received on Spotlight topics will go on to form part of the NACWG’s annual recommendations or be considered for further exploration.