Who we are and what we do

The NACWG have now come to the end of their initial three year strategy and have published their Next Steps Report in March 2021. This outlines their learning over the initial phase along with their suggested way forward for this work. A decision on how this is work is taken forward will be made post-election. 


Looking Back on the NACWG’s Initial Three Year Strategy – 2018-2021

In 2016, The Scottish Government pledged to establish a First Minister’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG), 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 and in January 2020, Dr Ima Jackson was appointed by the First Minister as Co-Chair with Louise Macdonald OBE. 


Here’s a short video of Louise Macdonald that was filmed during the early days of the initial three year strategy.


This first phase of the NACWG was made up of 17 women and girls in total aged 16+, with three aged 21 and under and from a variety of backgrounds, bringing a wide range of life experiences and voices to the group.


The overarching objective of the NACWG was 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.


You can find out more about the vision, background and membership of this first phase in the NACWG Terms of Reference and the NACWG’s initial three-year strategy NACWG Priorities 2018-21


The Circle

A large group of supportive allies, known as the Circle, support the NACWG. Women and girls and all people, regardless of their gender identity, are Circle members and membership includes representatives of a wide range of sectors and organisations across Scotland. The Circle fed into annual NACWG topics, providing insight and evidence, as well as acting as public “champions” for gender equality. The NACWG considered all of this feedback when shaping recommendations to the First Minister.


NACWG 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.


The Community

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

Every two months we have shone a Spotlight on a different gender equality issue through articles, blogs, research and films that help raise awareness and stimulate discussion. We asked three questions to spark discussion about the Spotlight topic and encouraged 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 the NACWG website.