Emma Ritch, a leading Scottish women’s equality campaigner, has died suddenly.
Engender, a Scottish feminist organisation, announced Emma had died on Friday July 9.
Tributes to the campaigner, who was a member of the Scottish Government’s National Advisory Council on Women and Girls, were shared on social media following the announcement.
Engender, of which Ms Ritch was executive director, said in a statement: “It is with profound sadness we share the news that our executive director, Emma Ritch, passed away suddenly on Friday July 9.
“Over a career dedicated to realising women’s equality and rights, Emma has been hugely influential in the movement in Scotland, through both her paid work and in a number of voluntary roles.
“Her intelligence and insight, kindness, and passionate feminism have made Scotland a better place for women, as well as enriching the lives of those who knew her personally.
“Emma’s death is a huge shock to us all.
“We know that many Engender members and supporters will be keen to share their tributes to her life and work, and we are working on ways to facilitate this. For now, please know that we are sending all of our love to Emma’s family and friends, and anybody struggling with this news.”
Tributes for feminist campaigner
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led tributes, saying: “This is dreadful and devastating news.
“Emma was such a force for good – a passionate advocate for women’s rights and a champion of justice and equality.
“She was also a cherished friend to many. She will be missed beyond words. Sending love to her family, friends and colleagues.”
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie MSP said: “Emma Ritch was an extraordinary, warm, generous, and thoroughly wonderful person who advanced the cause of equality immeasurably.
Hard to believe this terrible news out of the blue
“The condolences of the Scottish Labour Party go to her family and friends.
“This is truly heartbreaking news. She will be missed.”
Broadcaster Lesley Riddoch said: “I’m so very sorry to hear this. Emma was funny, sharp, generous and brave.
“Hard to believe this terrible news out of the blue. My thoughts with friends, family and all who worked with Emma.
“Tomorrow truly is promised to no-one.”