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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sturgeon launches SNP Women's Pledge

Scottish National Party Leader Nicola Sturgeon has this weekend joined female SNP activists and actor and campaigner Elaine C Smith in Glasgow to launch the SNP’s Women’s Pledge, committing the SNP and its members to delivering policies that promote equality.

The pledge commits its signatories to build towards the day when there will truly be no limit to a woman’s ambition or what they can achieve; a day when if you work hard, the sky’s the limit and no glass ceiling will ever stop you from achieving your dreams.

The pledge commits the SNP to:
  • Support women into work by increasing free childcare, raising the minimum wage, ending exploitative zero hours contracts, ending the gender pay gap and supporting the call for a 50:50 gender balance on all boards by 2020
  • Invest in women by continuing free education, increasing the number of apprenticeships and ensure women know they can pursue any career they choose
  • End the cuts which are disproportionately affecting women by protecting welfare payments such as child benefit, carer’s allowance, child tax credits and savings credit for older women
  • Care for the NHS by protecting its budget, securing its future in public hands and keeping it free at the point of use
  • Ensure that no girl grows up or woman lives in fear of abuse and violence

Backing the pledge, actress Elaine C Smith said: "Unfortunately, even in 2015, we still need to fight for gender equality. I want to see a Scotland where our young women believe they can achieve whatever they set their minds to - and our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is a shining example of that. I am delighted to sign the SNP's Women's Pledge as it reinforces our ambition that every woman, regardless of age or background, should be able to fulfil her potential."

Singer Sheena Wellington added: "I am very pleased to support the SNP's Women's Pledge. Women have come a long way since 1928 when the struggle for equal voting rights was won. Sadly, there is still a long way to go before we have equality of remuneration, influence, respect and power."

Comedian and writer Janey Godley said: “I am the great- grand daughter of a union rep in a fish factory, the granddaughter of a woman who was a brave single mother in the 1930s and the daughter of a woman who was murdered and never saw justice. But I am the mother of a daughter who is a staunch seeker of truth and verbally open about her rights. I am a Scottish woman whose voice counts with SNP which is why I support this pledge. Hear us roar."

Commenting, SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "No young girl should grow up in 2015 with the prospect of facing a glass ceiling that limits their ambitions. We all owe it to future generations to end gender inequality once and for all – which is why I am launching the SNP’s Women’s Pledge today. Having appointed the UK’s first gender balanced cabinet, the SNP’s challenge to organisations across the UK is to follow suit and commit to 50:50 representation on their boards by 2020."

Ms Sturgeon continued: "Westminster’s austerity cuts have hit women the hardest of all, with 85 per cent of cuts to social security and pensions affecting the incomes of women. That is wholly unfair and only undermines progress on gender equality, yet Labour is committed to a further £30 billion of austerity. We cannot continue with the austerity agenda that does so much to undermine women - which is why the SNP has committed to ending the welfare cuts that are disproportionately affecting women."

"SNP MPs at Westminster will stand up for gender equality at every turn. We will work for an end to austerity, for equal pay, more and better jobs and to end the barriers that still block the aspirations of too many women in Scotland and across the UK." Nicola Sturgeon added.