chapter  9
Gender and equality in Scotland
Mind the gap
ByGillian Fyfe, Karen Johnston
Pages 20

This chapter explains that at the UK and Scottish governance levels there is less variance on the manner in which the policy is formulated, with a tendency towards an expert-bureaucratic approach. When devolution settlements for Scotland and Wales were being discussed, Westminster fought hard to ensure equal opportunities legislation remained a reserved matter. Equal opportunities are and remain a key principle of the Scottish Parliament. The concept of mainstreaming has an intriguing interplay and relationship with the Equal Opportunities Committee in the Scottish Parliament. Various equality institutions in Scotland and the UK play a role within the policy process. Hanna Pitkin's seminal work on political representation encompasses a notion of equality where different groups of citizens are present in political decision making and institutions. Various interviewees concede there is a devolution gap, as the practical implications and consequences for equality and human rights were not considered when the Scotland Act 1998 was drafted.