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Festival of Politics 2022
11 to 13 August
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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Violence Against Women

Time: 5pm to 6pm

Why is the responsibility for dealing with this public health issue still seemingly up to women?


Event information

Violence against women is one of the most pervasive human rights violations, according to the United Nations.

Rooted in gender and harmful cultural and social norms, it’s also recognised as a public health issue adversely affecting women’s health.

Despite movements like #MeToo and #EverydaySexism, it’s still normal for women to adapt and restrict their behaviours by swapping safety for freedom, to avoid violence and harassment in public.

Join the panel to debate how to challenge, and who is challenging, the men perpetrating the violence – and why the responsibility for dealing with this public health issue still seems to lie with women.

This event is brought to you in partnership with Scottish Women's Aid. It is chaired by Rona Mackay MSP, Co-Convener, Cross-Party Group on Men's Violence Against Women and Girls.

This panel has BSL interpretation

Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline is 0800 027 1234 – or visit sdafmh.org.uk


Chris Green, White Ribbon campaign

Chris Green founded White Ribbon UK, the campaign of men challenging male violence against women, in 2004, and after 17 years of volunteering is now Honorary President. He was a member of the 8 strong Council of Europe Task Force to combat Violence against Women. In 2007 he was awarded the title Ultimate Man of the Year by Cosmopolitan Magazine. In 2012 UN General Secretary Ban ki Moon appointed him to the UN Group Leaders of Men to combat violence against women. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for Services to Equality. He has spoken at Cambridge, Oxford and Durham Union debating societies.

Soma Sara, Everyone’s Invited

Professor Karen Boyle, University of Strathclyde

Karen Boyle is Professor of Feminist Media Studies and Programme Director of Applied Gender Studies at the University of Strathclyde. She is the author of #MeToo, Weinstein & Feminism (2019) and has written widely on gender, violence & representation. She is the academic lead on the Pass the Mic research (2020-21), examining the portrayal of women of colour in Scottish news media.

Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid

Dr. Marsha Scott is a feminist researcher and practitioner and has advocated, volunteered, researched, and worked in the violence against women sector in the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe for 30 years. Prior to taking up post at Scottish Women's Aid in April 2015, Marsha worked for 10 years at West Lothian Council, where she helped set up and had strategic responsibility for the West Lothian Domestic and Sexual Assault Team

Rona Mackay MSP

I was elected as the MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden in 2016 and re-elected in May 2021.

I sit on the Criminal Justice Committee, having been Deputy Convenor in the previous session from 2016-2021.

I am Co-Convenor of several Cross Party Groups in Parliament, namely: Men's Violence Against Women and Girls; Women, Families and Justice; ACEs; Chronic Pain; Medical Cannabis. I am a member of Fair Trade, Animal Welfare and End of Life Choices.

Prior to being elected I was a journalist for 20 years and worked as a Parliamentary Assistant/Press Officer for a former MSP.

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