THERE’S nothing quite like a burning injustice to get the Scottish public all fired up.

Take the case of former Catalan government minister Clara Ponsati, the University of St Andrews lecturer who is fighting extradition to Spain over charges related to Catalonia’s disputed independence referendum.

When the Spanish Government issued a warrant for her arrest in March, many Scots were incensed at what they saw as the state’s heavy handedness and took to the streets with “You can’t have our Clara” banners in protest.

Many put their money where their mouths were, too, with thousands contributing to a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than £200,000 in less than 24 hours to help fund her defence. When the campaign closed it had amassed close to £300,000 from almost 9,000 individuals, with the comments from those contributing pointing to a group of donors motivated by a belief in “democracy”, “justice” and “solidarity”.

Now, with the case against her due to get under way in Edinburgh Sheriff Court in less than two weeks’ time, Ms Ponsati has issued a fresh plea for funds, urging supporters to tell their “friends, family and colleagues about what this injustice will mean if it goes ahead”. Well over 1,000 people have contributed more than £50,000 towards her £220,000 target in the past few days.

Although it is clear that much of the money given to the campaign has come from overseas – and Catalonia in particular – does the fact that so many Scots have also contributed prove a point, that as a nation we will fight against injustice wherever it may be?

You would be forgiven for thinking so, but the response the GMB union has received to a crowdfunder related to equal pay appears to tell a different story.

While Glasgow City Council agreed at the start of this year to settle an equal-pay dispute that had rumbled on for 10 years, so far no deal has been struck and disgruntled female staff have indicated that they are willing to take strike action in a bid to force the authority’s hand.

The union has launched a crowdfunding appeal to ease the impact that lost wages would have on the women if the one-day action goes ahead and, like Ms Ponsati, highlighted the injustice being faced by the campaign’s beneficiaries when making its plea for funds. Noting that “women in Glasgow have been discriminated against for over a decade”, the union said its members are prepared to “fight to get what has been stolen” from them after years of “being paid less than we deserve”.

While it is hard to imagine anyone seriously arguing that women should be paid less than men for doing work of equal value, the campaign has so far failed to make an impact. Despite launching in June, it has attracted just £130 from seven supporters and looks unlikely to hit the £1,000 being targeted before it is due close to on August 7.

The GMB reckons the lacklustre response is down to it so far only balloting on strike action and that more funds will be forthcoming as and when the walkout is confirmed. But still, why would so few people be willing to help hundreds of women fight for their rights against a local power when so many have come out to support one woman’s fight against a foreign one?

A study from American academics Elizabeth Gerber and Julie Hui could hold the answer. In it they note that people who back crowdfunding campaigns tend to be motivated by “feelings of sympathy and empathy toward the cause” and that “crowdfunding supporters are motivated to support causes analogous with their personal beliefs”.

In that respect it is no surprise that Ms Ponsati has struck such a chord in Scotland, with those supporting her campaign seeing her fight against the Spanish state as a proxy for their own fight for Scottish independence. With Ms Gerber and Ms Hui finding that people are also motivated to participate in crowdfunding in order to receive a “reward”, the upside of supporting Ms Ponsati’s case is clear: a win for her would be a vindication not only of the Catalonian people’s right to self-determination, but of all other independence-seeking nations’ too.

It is easy to see, too, why the Glasgow women would be at a disadvantage here: they already have two court judgments that say their fight is a just one and the council, having conceded defeat, has already said it is willing to make amends. The authority may be taking longer than the women would like to come good on its promise, but it has already aligned itself with the women’s cause and, with these “wins” already in the bag, what reward would there be for supporters to share in?

The problem is that with equal pay being enshrined in law decades ago, these recent developments only serve to highlight just how unfairly these women have been treated.

If their case isn’t seen as an example of injustice on an epic scale – one that should elicit feelings of sympathy and empathy, one that chimes with our personal beliefs – then what does that say about us?