Scottish local authorities, ‘sex’ and the Equality Act 2010

Review of 32 Scottish local authorities: representation of the protected characteristic of ‘sex’ under the Equality Act 2010

  1. The purpose of this research was to investigate how the 32 Scottish local authorities are representing the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, specifically, whether they are accurately describing the protected characteristic of ‘sex’.
  1. All the information reviewed was taken from each council’s website (screenshots taken on 9 June, 18 September and 1 October 2018). Wherever a search box was available on the council’s website, a search was done for ‘equality’. Sometimes that pointed to a page about the council’s broad approach to equality and diversity issues. Occasionally, it was necessary to carry out a more refined search for specific council documents relating to equality issues.
  1. In many cases, there were a number of documents available that related to equality and diversity. Wherever possible, the most up to date report or strategy on equality and diversity issues was reviewed. Most often these were ‘mainstreaming equality’ reports relating to the period 2017 to 2021.
  1. Based on either a broad overview of protected characteristics listed on an equality homepage and/or a more detailed report on equality and diversity, it was possible to note whether there was any consistency in the way that councils described the protected characteristic of ‘sex’.
  1. Seven* of the 32 local authorities consistently list ‘sex’ as the protected characteristic in the documents reviewed. The remainder list ‘sex’, ‘gender’ and other variations as the protected characteristic in the documents reviewed.
  1. Full details of the review can be found here.

*Edinburgh, Dundee, East Ayrshire, Glasgow, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire

Local authority Description of protected characteristic (‘sex’)
Aberdeen Sex

Gender

Aberdeenshire Sex

Sex (gender)

Gender

Angus Sex

Gender

Argyll and Bute Sex

Gender

Edinburgh Sex
Clackmannanshire Sex

Gender

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Gender
Dumfries and Galloway

 

Sex/gender

Gender

Sex (gender)

Gender (sex)

Dundee Sex
East Ayrshire Sex
East Dunbartonshire Sex

Gender

East Lothian Sex (formerly known as gender)

Sex (gender)

East Renfrewshire Sex

Sex and sexual orientation

Falkirk Sex

Sex (gender)

Gender

Fife Sex

Gender

Glasgow Sex
Highland Sex

Gender

Inverclyde Sex

Gender

Midlothian Sex

Gender

Sex (formerly/previously known as gender)

Moray Sex

Gender

North Ayrshire Sex

Gender

North Lanarkshire Sex

Gender and transgender identity

Orkney Sex
Perth and Kinross Sex
Renfrewshire Sex
Scottish Borders Sex

Gender

Gender (sex)

Shetland Sex

Gender

South Ayrshire Sex

Gender

South Lanarkshire Gender (sex)
Stirling Sex

Gender

West Dunbartonshire Sex

Gender

West Lothian Sex (gender)

Gender

Gender (woman)

 

Murray Blackburn Mackenzie

December 2018