In a continued pursuit to create a fairer Scotland with equal opportunities for all, a re-elected SNP Government - with seven female and five male Cabinet members - will continue to build on its already strong record of delivering gender equality.
Here are seven reasons to make it #BothVotesSNP and help empower women and girls on Thursday 06 May.
1. The SNP passed the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and introduced the Equally Safe strategy to combat all forms of violence against women and girls. A re-elected SNP Government will continue to invest in Equally Safe, with £100 million over the next three years to support frontline services and focus on prevention.
2. In April 2019, the SNP Government opened the West of Scotland Accredited Endometriosis Unit in Glasgow, ensuring the estimated 10% women and girls in Cunninghame North who suffer from this often debilitating condition no longer have to travel to Edinburgh or Aberdeen to receive specialised treatment. Alongside the formidable Endo Warriors, Kenneth Gibson campaigned hard for this unit by marching on demos, badgering Ministers and leading the first Parliamentary debate on Endometriosis since 2001, to successfully press this important issue.
3. The SNP Government established a Women’s Health Group. If re-elected, it will implement the Women’s Health Plan to reduce health inequalities. Kenneth has regularly raised such matters in Holyrood through his work on the Cross-Party Group 2021: Improving Scotland’s Health and Beyond. He is also an active member of the Cross Party Group on Women’s Health and has regularly asked questions in Parliament on matters such as reducing women’s chances of dying of heart disease, treating epilepsy in pregnancy and work to reduce miscarriage and stillbirtths.
4. The SNP continues to be an ally of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI). We will also campaign to deliver fair pensions for WASPI women at Westminster as limited social security powers devolved to Scotland, the Scottish Parliament does not have powers to create new pension benefits. This is explicitly set out in the Scotland Act 2016 because the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems urged the Smith Commission to keep this under UK control.
5. The SNP Government achieved its goal of reducing the Gender Pay Gap by 2021 across all measurements. It also published a landmark Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, the first in the UK, which a re-elected SNP Government will build on.
6. The SNP Government has encouraged girls and young women into sports through the Sporting Equality Fund, the introduction of annual Women and Girls in Sport week and the Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Advisory Board. Importantly, a re-elected SNP Government will also continue to build on its ongoing work to enable more girls and women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
7. In 2019, the new SNP Council in Glasgow reached a landmark agreement with women workers delivering the equal pay justice they were cruelly denied by Labour for decades. Labour had even spent £3 million of taxpayers’ money in legal fees to stop backdated payments totalling over £548 million. This momentum generated by the SNP reminded other councils, including North Ayrshire, to get on with delivering justice to women workers.
It's been exciting to see gender equality increase drastically under SNP Governments. However, Scotland doesn’t hold the powers to sort out key factors like employment law, certain benefits and pensions. This is why we remain dependent on what the UK Tory Government does until we take Scotland’s future into our own hands by becoming independent.
Scotland can to continue the empowerment of women and girls by backing an SNP Government led by Nicola Sturgeon and secure a recovery from COVID-19 and, ultimately, a referendum on independence. The only way to achieve this is by making it #BothVotesSNP on Thursday 06 May.