Being Midlothian’s first female MP, I can’t help but think about the contributions and sacrifices so many women have had to make so that I can have the privilege of being your MP. The 6th of February was the 100 year anniversary of SOME women getting the vote and in celebration of that I hope everyone regardless of gender takes a moment to reflect about its significance and what we still have to do to achieve true gender equality.
Women getting the vote was an essential first step but gender inequality still runs deep and there remains a lot of work to be done. We know cuts to public spending disproportionately affects women, we know that women are still more likely to be in low paid and low skilled jobs, we know that women continue to be underrepresented in senior management and leadership roles, we know that in Scotland in 2016 women accounted for 78% of all part-time workers and we know that women still take on the majority of care duties.
In the past I have used my column to call on both the Scottish and UK Governments to do more on a wide range of issues. I strongly believe that both governments need to do more to help achieve true gender equality. However gender equality is something we all can promote and it isn’t just an issue for women to take forward.
So let’s celebrate all the fantastic women in our lives and say well done and thank you for the hard work women carried out to get the vote, and the work women still do today.