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In November 2023, East Ayrshire Council was awarded bronze accreditation in the Equally Safe at Work (ESAW) programme in recognition of our commitment to gender equality and preventing violence against women.

ESAW is run by Close the Gap, an organisation that works with policymakers, employers and employees to address the causes of women’s inequality at work. The ESAW programme recognises that employers have a key role to play in tackling this inequality as it’s a necessary step in preventing violence against women, which is an employment issue in itself whether it occurs inside or outside of the workplace.

The bronze accreditation is valid for two years and we will need to demonstrate at the end of the period that we continue to meet the criteria, before then working towards achieving silver.

The UN Women and The International Labour Organisation (ILO) have stated that violence against women results in greater economic and social inequalities, disrupts economic empowerment of women and entrenches negative stereotypes against women.

We have a vital role to play in advancing gender equality and challenging violence against women. We are developing employment policies and practices that are sensitive to the needs of victim-survivors, taking action to prevent violence against women at work, and taking account of women's different experiences in all aspects of the workplace.

Close the Gap

The programme enables employers to better support employees who have experienced gender-based violence and work towards creating an inclusive workplace culture that prevents violence against women.

Equally Safe at Work is a tiered programme which enables councils to progress from building a foundation for change to embedding a strong culture of gender equality within the organisation. The bronze, silver and gold tiers are cumulative, and councils progress to the next level once the required criteria at each stage is achieved and maintained. 

The programme supports the implementation of Scotland’s national strategy to tackle violence Against Women and Girls (Equally Safe). The strategy, which is jointly owned by Scottish Government and COSLA, recognises that violence against women is a cause and consequence of wider gender inequality. Addressing gender inequality in the workplace is therefore a fundamental step in preventing violence against women

Equally Safe at Work statement

We have published a public statement signed by the Chief Executive and the Council Leader in support of Equally Safe at Work.

Download our Equally Safe at Work Statement (PDF 606Kb)

Advice and information

Get advice and information on the following topics, including where victims can go for support in East Ayrshire:

Contact Information


Corporate Support
Council Headquarters
London Road
Telephone: 01563 576075