THE life and work of an "astonishing" Glasgow professor is to be honoured at a conference attended by politicians and policy makers.

Respected feminist economist Professor Ailsa McKay died of cancer in March 2014, at the age of 50.

Her work had influenced government policy decisions that affect the lives of women, children and families.

Now Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is to host a two-day event with guest speakers including Deputy First Minister John Swinney and former First Minister Alex Salmond.

The conference is organised by the Women in Scotland's Economy (WiSE) Research Centre, which was established by Professor McKay.

Jim Campbell, Acting Director of WiSE, said: "Ailsa aspired for gender equality, challenged existing norms, and worked to improve the quality of life for women, their children and families.

"WiSE was Ailsa's vision and the work of WiSE continues.

"We are honoured to celebrate her life and the outstanding contribution she made in Scotland and on an international platform to enrich the lives of women and our society."

The conference will highlight Professor McKay's work in championing the position of women in Scotland's economy through gender budgeting. This includes her call for a transformation in childcare, whereby she urged greater investment in childcare provision as a common good and a source of employment as well as improving women's access to paid employment by increasing provision of affordable childcare.

She had also called for the promotion of a citizen's basic income.

Mr Swinney will join politicians, international scholars and civil society leaders at the event, being held at GCU on Thursday and Friday.

He is expected to speak of the profound influence Professor McKay's work had on government policy.

The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Marilyn Waring of Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Honorary Doctorate of GCU.

Other key speakers include GCU Visiting Professor Diane Elson; Honorary Professor and Chief Economic Advisor to the Scottish Government, Dr Gary Gillespie; and distinguished academic colleagues from other UK, European and Canadian universities.