MSP Rona Mackay has spoken out about the contribution women make to Scotland but insisted there is still work to be done in achieving gender equality.
It comes as the world celebrates International Women’s Day today, March 8, with the theme Women Changing the World of Work: Planet 50-50.
Ms Mackay told how she is proud of the SNP government, which created the first 50-50 political cabinet the United Kingdom has ever seen.
The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP backed a motion by the Scottish Government outlining support for International Women’s Day.
“Scotland is a world leader in gender equality, with one of the few nations in the world led by a 50-50 Cabinet.
“We have some great achievements, for example a decreasing gender pay gap, falling to 6.2 per cent compared to the UK’s 9.4 per cent.
“The SNP government is exclusive in expanding free child care to allow women to get back into the work place, and I’m overjoyed there are plans to nearly double free child care by 2020.
“Scotland is very unique in that the government has the most women ever, along with the parliament, whose benches have never had as many women in them. Our Westminster group is the most gender equal to exist in UK politics.
“While we understand Scotland is moving in the right direction, it is recognised there is still work to be done in achieving gender equality.
“Concerns such as domestic abuse and violence against women remains a priority with the government, and we are working on a new Bill to tackle this.
“Additionally, the Scottish Parliament’s economy committee is holding an inquiry into the gender pay gap and the economic effect it has on the country.
“I am delighted the Scottish Government has officially recognised the role women play in the world with what is an excellent government motion on International Women’s Day.”
S5M-04440 Angela Constance: International Women’s Day—That the Parliament unites, ahead of UN International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017, to reaffirm its commitment to upholding and protecting the rights of women, which are fundamental human rights; welcomes this year’s theme, Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030, which seeks to ensure that women are empowered to take up the opportunities of work and ensure that the barriers to women entering and progressing in the workplace at all levels and in all sectors are addressed; notes the work of the Scottish Government to ensure and increase equality in the workplace, and welcomes research that shows that increasing female leadership and gender equality in the workforce can benefit the workplace, society and the economy.
Supported by: Kevin Stewart*, Jeane Freeman*