Nicola Sturgeon will urge women to give both votes to the SNP on 6 May. On Friday she highlights plans to support women as Scotland recovers from COVID.

Campaigning in Glasgow today, the SNP Leader will outline the SNP policies to improve health outcomes and economic opportunities for women – both at home and abroad.

Key SNP commitments for women include:

  • Create a £50m Women’s Business Centre to support women looking to start or grow their business 
  • Continue funding the SNP Government’s Women Returners Programme and build flexible and family-friendly working into our Fair Work First Programme, learning lessons from working practices during the pandemic to make it easier for women – particularly single parents – to return to work.
  • Expand free childcare and build a wraparound childcare system, with those on the lowest incomes paying nothing.
  • Introduce a Women’s Health Plan aimed at improving services for women and tackling health inequalities, across a wide range of issues.
  • Take action to make streets safer for women, for example working with stakeholders on how to better educate men about the impact of their behaviour, and exploring how we design communities, such as Space Safety Audits.

The SNP say that according to ONS figures published in November, the gender pay gap for full-time employees in Scotland has decreased from 7.2 per cent in 2019 to 3.0 per cent in 2020 and in the UK it has decreased from 9.0 per cent to 7.4 per cent.

Nicola Sturgeon joined Angus Robertson on the campaign trail in Edinburgh’s New Town on 20 April 2021 ©2021 The Edinburgh Reporter

Nicola Sturgeon will say: “These are serious times which require experienced leadership to guide Scotland through the pandemic and into recovery. In Government, the SNP has a proud record on standing up for women on issues such as equal pay and support in returning to the workplace.

“In many ways women have borne the brunt of the pandemic, working in caring professions and often taking responsibility for children or older relatives at home. We must make sure this recovery helps put women on an equal footing – with better jobs, better health care and greater safety.

“We will create a £50m Women’s Business Centre to support women looking to start or grow their business. As part of this, we will invest £3 million per year to pay the equivalent of a full time salary for 100 female applicants to develop their pioneering business idea.

“We will also continue our successful Women Returners Programme, which is helping women re-enter the labour market after a period away – as well as building flexible and family-friendly working into our Fair Work First programme.

“While not all women have children, we know that the availability of free, high-quality childcare is hugely important for many women in the workplace. In government the SNP have revolutionised childcare provision, and if re-elected we’ll go even further by building a system of wraparound childcare.

“As we remobilise our NHS, we also want to improve healthcare for women and girls at different stages in their lives. We’ll develop and implement a Women’s Health Plan to improve services and reduce health inequalities on issues as diverse as breastfeeding support, screening services and the menopause.

“I’m proud that the SNP is fielding such a strong range of female candidates in this election, who bring a wide range of experiences from a diverse range of backgrounds – and by giving both votes to the SNP on May 6th, people can elect a government which is strongly committed to supporting women from all walks of life through the pandemic and into the recovery.”