SNP Manifesto for Women 2017

Advancing women’s equality is central to the SNP manifesto, and a strong team of SNP MPs at would champion gender equality at Westminster – defending and extending women’s rights, protecting women’s incomes, and pressing for comprehensive action on gender-based violence in the UK and around the world.

Here’s how strong SNP voices will stand up for women.

Tackling low pay and the gender pay gap


  • SNP MPs will support lowering the current threshold for gender pay gap reporting to 150 employees and the introduction of sanctions – including fines – for employers that fail to comply with the law.


  • We will call on the UK government to follow the lead of the Scottish Government and commit to legislating for gender balance in public sector boardrooms.


  • We will back matching the Minimum Wage to the level of the real Living Wage for all those aged 18 and above, taking it to over £10 per hour by the end of the parliament.


Protecting and enhancing rights at work


  • We back the Women and Equalities Committee’s recommendation to strengthen the law to protect women from discriminatory redundancies and practices.


  • We will tackle workplace discrimination and sexist dress codes. SNP MPs will vote for a change in the Equality Act to strengthen and change the law that currently allows employers to have different dress codes for men and women.


  • SNP MPs will press the UK government to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts.


  • To ensure workers’ rights across the UK are not diminished as a result of Brexit, we will press the UK government to follow the lead of the SNP Scottish Government by establishing a Fair Work Commission – with representation from trade unions, public sector organisations and businesses.


  • No-one should face discrimination at work because of pregnancy or childbirth. The SNP will fight to protect the rights of pregnant women and new mothers afforded under EU laws, ensuring that maternity and workplace rights are not eroded.

  • The UK is one of the few countries in the world not to provide a statutory right to breastfeed on return to work. SNP MPs will press the UK government to introduce a proper legal right to breastfeed in the workplace.


Protecting incomes


  • SNP MPs will vote against further cuts to social security, which have already fallen disproportionately on women, and vote to ensure benefits increase at least in line with CPI inflation. We will also press for the abolition of the two child cap on tax credits and the associated Rape Clause.

  • We’ll stand up for the women in Scotland, and across the UK, who have been short-changed by the Tory Government due to the accelerated timetable for increases in the women’s State Pension Age. SNP MPs will continue to support the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.


  • We will back the continuation of VAT exemption on essential items like children’s clothes, and will hold the UK government to a commitment to remove VAT from sanitary products.


  • Until VAT is removed from sanitary products, SNP MPs will call for Scotland’s population share of the Tampon Tax Fund to be transferred to the Scottish Government so that a fair and proportionate amount can be distributed to organisations working with and for women across Scotland.


Protecting women and girls from gender-based violence


  • Earlier this year Dr Eilidh Whiteford’s Bill to ensure new action on domestic violence was passed at Westminster. It will require that the Istanbul Convention – a comprehensive treaty aimed at securing minimum standards to prevent and combat domestic and secual violence – is incorporated into UK law. SNP MPs will ensure there is a clear timetable for that to happen.


Promoting women’s rights across the world


  • Building on the experience of the Scottish Government’s partnership with the UN to empower the women of Syria and promote Scotland as a centre for training of female peacemakers, the SNP will continue to support UN Security Council Resolution 1325 reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts.


  • SNP MPs will continue to support the EU in the pursuit of the objectives outlined in the EU Global Strategy, particularly in the cross-cutting themes of Human Rights, Women, Peace and Security and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.


Read the manifesto in full here.