MSP Gil Paterson 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 6, with the theme Women Changing the World of Work: Planet 50-50.
Mr Paterson told how he is proud of the SNP government, which created the first 50-50 political cabinet the United Kingdom has ever seen.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP backed a motion by the Scottish Government outlining support for International Women’s Day.
Mr Paterson said: “Scotland is leading the way when it comes to gender equality – being one of the handful of nations guided by a 50:50 Cabinet.
“In terms of the United Kingdom, we are well ahead in closing the gender pay gap, which is 6.2 per cent in Scotland and 9.4 per cent in the UK.
“The SNP government is giving women opportunities more than ever to get back into work, especially with free child care and its planned expansion to double by 2020.
“Scotland has many women in positions of political power, with all major Holyrood parties led by women. Not many chambers in the world see three women clashing once a week, heading all of the largest groups there – that is incredibly rare.
“We still have work to do though when it comes to gender equality – concerns like domestic abuse and violence against women are at the top of the SNP government’s priorities, with a new Bill coming soon to tackle it.
“The economy committee, which I am in, is running a consultation on the gender gap and the effect it has on Scotland’s economy. It is practical measures like this that will help understand and narrow it.
“I fully support International Women’s Day and commend the Scottish Government for throwing its weight behind it.”
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*
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07342 061722..