Nicola Sturgeon leads tributes to charity leader who has passed away suddenly

First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon is among those paying tribute to Emma Ritch, the executive director of Edinburgh based women’s equalities charity Engender who passed away last week.

Engender said in a statement “it is with profound sadness we share the news that our executive director Emma Ritch, passed away suddenly on Friday 9th July”.

Stugeon said that Ritch was “such a force for good” and a “champion of justice and equality”.

Engender’s statement says that “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”.

The charity adds: “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.”

Also paying tribute is Sue John, director of operations, resources and enterprise at the Women’s Library, who says “I really can’t express the sense of shock and grief”.

Meanwhile, a space has been created on Engender’s website for people to send messages of condolence and share memories.

Engender’s statement adds: “The Engender office will be closed this week as we collectively process the loss of our brilliant director, colleague, and friend, but please know that we are sending all of our love to Emma’s family and friends, and anybody struggling with this news.”

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