Tackling gender-based violence must be at the heart of everything we do.

We must do everything we can to tackle violence against women and girls.

Scotland must do all it can to transform the lives, the safety and the freedom of women and girls, says the Scottish Greens equality spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP.

Ms Chapman warned that we must not treat gender-based violence as a standalone issue, and that it cannot be separated from the work we do to tackle poverty, conflict and so much more.

Speaking in a parliamentary debate on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, Ms Chapman said: “The status quo, for millions of women and girls, is a place of pain and horror. We cannot, we must not, treat gender-based violence as a standalone issue, divorced from the rest of what we do. We need, every year, not just 16, but 365 days of activism.

Focusing on work that is being done across the country, Ms Chapman said “There are fantastic initiatives happening during this year’s campaign, including much that’s about survival, support and the stories that individual women share. It’s crucial that we listen to these. But we also need to hear and learn from feminist experts about the kind of structural and policy changes that can transform the lives, the safety and the freedom of women and girls.

Reflecting on the role of economics in perpetuating violence against women and girls in Scotland and globally, Ms Chapman added: “We know that women face violence in the workplace and in the experience of migrating for work. This violence is enabled and perpetrated through unjust and inhumane immigration and trade policies. And we know that in the experience and aftermath of natural disasters, climate catastrophe and armed conflict, women and their children suffer the most, including from deliberate violence.

Ms Chapman finished: “On Monday evening I, with hundreds of others, walked through Dundee in safety and solidarity, as part of this year’s Reclaim the Night march. Our task here is to help reclaim not just the night, but the day and every day to come, for the women and girls of Scotland and of the world beyond."