To mark International Women’s Day on 8th March, the Scottish Parliament debated a motion tabled by Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie. Cathy emphasised the need for central and local government and the private sector to take full account of gender issues.
Opening the debate, Cathy thanked the many MSPs who had signed her motion. Noting the many events organised throughout the world, Cathy spoke of advances that had been made and highlighted what still needs done to advance the social, political and economic equality of women.
“Many aspects of women’s rights, representation and welfare still need to be addressed through a gendered policy approach. The issues include the gender pay gap, under-representation of women in senior positions in the public and private sectors and as elected representatives, and the provision of violence against women support services.
Posted in Equality & Human Rights, violence against women
Tagged Domestic Abuse, Equality, gender, Gude Cause, map of gaps, pay gap, rape, Reclaim the Night, representation, sex and power, single outcome agreement, suffrage, Women's Environmental Network
Falkirk Herald, 12 February
A TRAUMATISED victim of an alleged rape was locked up after she broke down in court while giving evidence. Now the judge who ordered the woman be arrested and held in a police cell overnight has come under fire. Critics said his treatment of the woman, who lives in the Falkirk area, was “appalling” and “inexcusable”. An urgent investigation has been launched by the Crown Office into Sheriff Roger Craik’s decision.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie said: “This is like punishing the victim. I will be writing to the Crown Office demanding answers. The number of rape cases which get to court in Scotland is very low and for this woman to have got to this stage then be treated in this way is appalling. It is totally unacceptable to deal with a vulnerable witness in this way. An alleged victim of rape should be treated with understanding and respect.”
Also see Inquiry after judge jails sex abuse case witness who tried to flee court (Scotsman, 8 Feb)
and Fury as sheriff has traumatised alleged rape victim locked in cells overnight (Daily Record, 7 Feb)
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that Scotland’s good record of support for Domestic Abuse, Rape and related services is not allowed to fall by the wayside.
Commenting on a new report highlighting the postcode lottery of services, Cathy said:
“The Map of Gaps is extremely worrying. The pioneering work that Scotland has been recognised for is in danger of being undone because the government has lost its focus on the problem. Services are already patchy – and in some areas, non-existent. That is likely to become worse.
Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has welcomed the launch of a new public awareness campaign on rape.
“The campaign is intended to create debate about attitudes to rape,” said Cathy, who is Convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Men’s Violence against Women and Children.
“The campaign challenges attitudes that blame women for rape where they have been drinking, dressed in revealing clothing or flirting, and also addresses the issue of rape within marriages and relationships.
“I congratulate Rape Crisis on the striking images that they have used to focus attention on these issues, and I am pleased to see that the motion I have tabled in the Scottish Parliament is attracting cross party support.”
“This is an extremely important campaign to tackle society’s attitudes towards women who are raped. Even though we often don’t realise it, people do make assumptions about a woman depending on the way she dresses, how she behaves and how much she has had to drink. But nobody deserves to experience rape, no matter what she is wearing or whether she has been flirting.
“The purpose of this campaign is to make people think, and to check the judgements they make about people. We want to create debate about this issue as too many women are experiencing the harrowing ordeal of rape without getting the justice they deserve. I urge everyone to take the messages from this campaign on board.”