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Bills and Laws

Gender Representation on Public Boards (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

The Bill removes the definition of “woman” from the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018.

The Bill ended Stage 3 on 20 June 2024



The Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 (“the 2018 Act”) introduced a requirement that 50% of the non-executive members of public boards should be women. Public boards supervise the activities and performance of the public bodies that deliver functions like health and social care, utilities and transport in Scotland.

Section 2 of the 2018 Act defined a “woman” as including: “a person who has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment (within the meaning of section 7 of the Equality Act 2010) if, and only if, the person is living as a woman and is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of becoming female”.

This Bill removes that definition of “woman” from the 2018 Act.  

Why the Bill was created

In 2022, the Court of Session decided that the definition of “woman” in section 2 of the 2018 Act was outside the legislative powers of the Scottish Parliament and was therefore not law.

The Bill has been introduced by the Scottish Government following that decision.