International Women’s Day: how the SNP is bold for change

Today is International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is ‘Be Bold For Change’.

International Women’s Day is about helping take action to create a more inclusive, gender equal world. Here are just some of the actions the SNP is taking to be Bold for Change.

Bold for Change at Holyrood
  • We will introduce legislation to create gender balanced boardrooms across the public sector in Scotland by 2020, tackling the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles. 
  • We have established an Advisory Council on Women and Girls which will raise awareness of gender issues, champion the rights of women and girls, and advocate for changes that can be made across society to deliver equality. 
  • We will continue working with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination, and create guidelines for employers to ensure best practice on monitoring and reporting on pregnancy and maternity.
  • We are funding a pilot Returners project to help women update their skills and knowledge after a career break, and help employers retain skilled staff.
  • We will invest £200,000 in the Women In Enterprise Action Framework to tackle the gender gap in enterprise.
  • We will develop a  £300,000 Gender Equality in Sport Fund to address the barriers specific to women’s participation.
  • We will introduce a Domestic Abuse Bill, which will help ensure coercive and controlling behaviour can effectively be dealt with under the criminal law.  
  • We will also work to implement Equally Safe: Scotland’s strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls.
MPs taking action to be Bold For Change
  • Eilidh Whiteford MP’s Bill to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which aims to combat and prevent violence against women, passed through the House of Commons in February with support all parties and the UK Government.
  • SNP MPs, alongside the the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) groups, have campaigned for the UK Government to take immediate action to help the millions of women whose retirement plans have been shattered by rapid increases to the State Pension Age.
  • Alison Thewliss MP continues to fight the UK Government’s regressive two child Tax Credit limit and the so-called rape clause since it was first announced in 2015, and forced the them to undertake a public consultation on the issue.
  • Gavin Newlands MP, together with the White Ribbon Campaign, brought together organisations and campaign groups in Westminster in a roundtable discussion on the positive role men can play in preventing violence against women.
As a party the SNP is taking action to be Bold for Change
  • The SNP are taking action to increase the number of female elected representatives we have at all levels. In the 2016 election, 43 per cent of the SNP MSPs elected were women – an increase on our 2011 result. And, we’ve made changes to the way we select council candidates to increase the number of women going forward for election.    
  • We have held several successful Women’s Conferences, bringing female members together to share ideas, support each other and learn from best practice across the country. 
  • We have created the role of Equalities Officer at a branch level to complement existing branch officers including Women’s Officers, with an aim of increasing awareness at the local level of issues surrounding the involvement of our diverse membership.

You can read more about our action on gender equality here.