Who we are and what we do


Watch an introduction to the NACWG from our Chair, Louise Macdonald OBE




In 2016, The Scottish Government pledged to establish a First Minister’s National Advisory Council on 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 First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG).

Today the NACWG is made up of 16 women and girls aged 16+. We come from a variety of jobs, roles and backgrounds, bringing a wide range of life experiences and voices to the group. Every one of us is passionate about tackling gender inequality.

Our mission is to:

  • Play a leading role in raising awareness of gender inequality in Scotland, drawing attention to the wide range of issues this creates for women, girls in Scotland today.
  • Act as a champion for positive progress and policies that are making a meaningful difference to the lives of women and girls; encouraging Scotland to become a beacon for gender equality around the world.
  • Be a catalyst for change by providing a challenging voice to the First Minister and her team. Identifying gaps in work to tackle gender inequality or ways of increasing the pace and scale of change.

Ultimately, we want to help bring about equality for women and girls in every community across Scotland. Together, we are #GenerationEqual.

The NACWG is not a working group, a review body or a delivery agent. We set our own agenda, including what topics to cover, based on evidence from Scotland and beyond. However, in fulfilling our role we seek to positively influence policy, decision making and service delivery. We provide annual reports to the First Minister, demonstrating our findings and making recommendations.

NACWG Terms of Reference
NACWG Priorities 2018-21

The Circle

To support the NACWG, we’ve established a large group of supportive allies, known as the Circle.

The Circle welcomes people of all genders, including men, boys, and non-binary people. It includes representatives of a wide range of sectors and organisations across Scotland. The Circle provides insight and evidence to the NACWG and act as public “champions” for gender equality.

Three times a year, the Circle and NACWG meet to share experience, evidence from the frontline and ideas and help the NACWG shape its recommendations to the First Minister.


Annual Topics

2018 Attitudes and Culture Change – in public life; in work; in learning systems…
2019 Policy Coherence – how is policy made and do policies work against each other…
2020 Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture – the status of women in Scotland, structures and intersectionality.

Join The Circle

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The Community

This website is our Community – an online space where stakeholders, groups and communities can connect with the work of the NACWG.

Every two months we shine a Spotlight on a different gender equality issue. We bring together articles, blogs, research and films that help raise awareness and stimulate discussion.

Every two months we ask three questions to spark discussion about the Spotlight. We’re encouraging as many people as possible to discuss these questions in a ‘Wee Circle’ group, and to share feedback on the ‘Wee Circle – Have Your Say’ page of this website. Your opinions are valuable and will help us with our strategy going forward…

You can find the Spotlights on the Latest section of this site, where past topics can be found further down the page. Every two months we publish an anonymous summary report of the feedback received. These are the Spotlights for the next couple of months:


Spotlight Topics

Month Spotlight topic
September 2018 Masculinity
October 2018 Sport
November 2018 STEM
December 2018 Participation

We believe that everyone has a part to play in creating gender equality and that everyone benefits from a more gender equal society. We believe in doing what’s right, not what’s easy. And we know we can’t tackle gender equality without tackling how gender overlaps with other things like race, religion, disability and sexuality. That’s why we want as many people as possible to discuss the issues and share their feedback through this website and our social media channels.

To help create real and lasting change for everyone in Scotland.
To help create #GenerationEqual.