SNP manifesto: what we’ll do for Scotland’s women

The SNP 2016 manifesto sets out a range of support a re-elected SNP government will provide to women in Scotland.

Here’s just some of what we’ll do.

  • We will encourage growth in the number of women-led businesses to boost the economy, by implementing the Women In Enterprise Action Framework.

  • Through a national drive to improve productivity, we’ll create more and better-paid jobs. And, we will extend payment of the Living Wage – ensuring that all social care workers receive the Living Wage by October 2016 and double the number of accredited employers from 500 to 1,000 by autumn 2017.

  • We will create a Scottish Social Security Agency, with fairness and dignity at its heart, increase Carer’s Allowance to match Jobseeker’s Allowance, scrap the Bedroom Tax and keep disability benefits universal.

  • We will take action to break down gender stereotypes in our schools, colleges, universities, and workplaces. More girls and women will be encouraged to study science, technology, engineering and maths.

  • We will increase the number of Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000 a year by 2020 – 5,000 of which will be in highly skilled careers – and make sure the programme addresses gender imbalances.

  • Free childcare will be almost doubled to 30 hours a week – helping more parents into work.

  • Our NHS will be made fit for the future with nearly £2 billion of extra investment by the end of the next parliament. More healthcare will be delivered closer to home. New action will be taken to tackle cancer and mental health services will be improved too.

  • We will help experienced women to return to their previous careers after a break by piloting ‘Returnships’ – a successful initiative from the USA which allows women to update their skills and knowledge, and employers to retain skilled staff.

  • We will continue our actions to tackle the under-representation of women in leadership roles, and legislate to have 50:50 gender equality in public sector boardrooms by 2020.

  • We will encourage organisations in the private and third sectors to sign up to the Scottish Government’s Business Pledge, including the commitment to workforce diversity, and to join the Partnership for Change campaign to set a voluntary commitment for gender balance in their boardrooms of 50:50 by 2020.

  • We will establish an Advisory Council on Women and Girls to advise on action to tackle workplace and occupational segregation.

  • We will consider a system of penalties for local authorities that haven’t settled outstanding equal pay claims, or are still not paying equal pay by April 2017.

  • We will establish a £300,000 Sporting Equality Fund aimed at increasing the participation, engagement, and promotion of women in sport.