Our action on gender equality

Equality for women is at the heart of the SNP’s vision for a fairer country. Scotland ranks third in the world for political empowerment for women and is significantly ahead of the rest of the UK. But there is still much more to achieve.

From promoting 50:50 gender balance in boardrooms to tackling violence against women, here are just some of the ways we are working to build a more equal Scotland.

  • The gender pay gap is smaller in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. But, there is still more to do. We’re shining a light on the gender pay gap, requiring all public authorities with more than 20 employees to publish their pay gap every two years and an equal pay statement every four years. SNP MPs will call on the UK government to adopt the same procedures too.

  • We are championing the real Living Wage. There are now over 1000 Living Wage accredited employers in Scotland. This benefits women most as they are more likely to be in lower paid employment.

  • We are legislating to ensure 50:50 gender balance in public sector boardrooms in Scotland by 2020, and are leading a 50:50 campaign to encourage third and private sector companies to commit as well. Nicola Sturgeon also appointed Scotland’s first gender balanced cabinet when she became Scotland’s first female First Minister.

  • We have doubled funding to support businesses led by women. Funding of £120,000 for the Investing Women social enterprise will support women-led businesses. 

  • We have improved the gender balance of our parliamentarians. Following the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, women account for 43 per cent of SNP MSPs, up from 27.5 per cent in 2011. 

  • Free, high quality childcare has been increased to 16 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds – up from 12.5 hours in 2007 – and extended to 2 year olds from low income households too. By 2020, we’ll increase the provision to 30 hours a week, ensuring more women are able to participate in the labour market.

  • We have established a women returners scheme, to support women to regain the confidence and skills they may have lost during career breaks.

  • A record amount of almost £33 million is being invested to tackle domestic violence against women and girls. And access to justice for survivors of domestic abuse has been improved too.

  • We have launched a £300,000 Sports Equality Fund with the aim of increasing women’s engagement in sport.

  • We are doing all we can to mitigate Westminster’s welfare reforms, which are hitting women the hardest. We are ensuring no one has to pay the Bedroom Tax and providing Crisis Grants and Community Care Grants through the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Keep up to date with our efforts to achieve equality for women, by joining our Women’s group here.