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To ask the Scottish Government whether it is aware that only a reported 39% of original plays performed in Scotland in 2015 were written by women and 47% of the shows directed by women and, if so, what action it is taking to improve the gender balance in the Scottish theatre.

Answered by Fiona Hyslop (17/03/2016):

These figures are taken from Where are the Women?, an analysis of creative roles by gender in Scottish theatre 2014-15 by Christine Hamilton Consulting, published on 8 March 2016. In fact, as Ms Hamilton’s report indicates, the gender balance in Scottish theatre is improving. While it is not possible to have a direct comparison (due to different data collection methodology), the general trend is positive since 2009. Women made up 26% of playwrights in 2009 and 39% in 2014-15.

Creative Scotland fund the Scottish Playwrights Studio whose mentoring programme has supported a majority of female playwrights.

Creative Scotland is monitoring gender imbalance in theatre as part of its current equalities, diversity and inclusion review, which will provide more robust data on those employed in the theatre and wider arts sector. Theatre has particular issues as working hours are often not family friendly. Creative Scotland is making equalities activity, including gender balance, a core expectation for those in receipt of public funding.

Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 17/03/2016
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