Ruth Maguire urges women to give both votes to the SNP on May 6th and highlights the SNP’s plans to support women as Scotland recovers from COVID, by outlining the wide range of policies an SNP Government will introduce to improve health outcomes and economic opportunities for women – both at home and abroad.

Commenting Ruth Maguire said:

“In many ways women have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is not a new phenomenon but the pandemic has again brought into sharp focus the fact that responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work often falls on women.  We must ensure that in recovery women are put on an equal footing.

“In Government, the SNP has a strong record on standing up for women on issues such as equal pay and support in returning to the workplace. 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.  These figures demonstrate the progress we are making here in Scotland but there is still a long way to go.

“If elected, the SNP 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.”

ENDS