Labour vows gender equality policies to ‘deliver for women’

Kezia Dugdale has said she will make sure gender equality is part of her manifesto
Kezia Dugdale has said she will make sure gender equality is part of her manifesto
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SCOTTISH Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has warned against complacency in tackling gender inequality as she set out her party’s plans to “deliver for women”.

Labour’s manifesto, to be unveiled on Wednesday, will include a commitment to set up a commission to address occupational segregation in the workplace.

If elected on May 5, the party would also appoint a cabinet secretary for equalities to oversee efforts to get more women into male-dominated roles.

Labour would introduce a Gender Equality Bill, back efforts on equal pay for women and deliver gender balance on the boards of public bodies.

• READ MORE: Labour candidate claims party is ignoring 30% who voted Yes

Ms Dugdale told The Herald newspaper: “We have to be careful in Scotland not to be complacent just because we have three party leaders who are women.

“That in and of itself does not deliver for working-class women who feel the pain of the cuts, who see the reality of the pay gap in their pay cheque every week.

“I want to use the voice I have and the power I have to actually deliver for women, because being in that position of power on its own is not enough.”

Elsewhere, the party’s manifesto will also include a pledge to deliver four new major trauma centres in Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The SNP has promised in its manifesto to “create a major trauma network” that would “utilise sites in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow”.

Labour’s equality spokeswoman Jenny Marra said: “Just two years ago, the SNP promised four major trauma centres across Scotland by the end of 2016. This pledge has not been delivered - hitting patient and staff confidence at all the hospitals affected.

“In our manifesto on Wednesday, Labour will commit to four major trauma centres across Scotland, including in Dundee and Aberdeen.”

The manifesto will also pledge a cap on rent increases in the private rented sector to tackle “bad landlords”, the introduction of new nutritional standards for hospital food, and the scrapping of the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.

• READ MORE: Scottish Labour pledge to end cuts to arts and culture scene

James Kelly, Scottish Labour candidate for Rutherglen, said: “Sectarianism in Scotland goes way beyond 90 minutes on a Saturday or 140 characters in a tweet.

“Where the SNP have chased headlines Labour will work with religious organisations, charities, football authorities and fans to stamp out sectarianism for good.

“The Football Act was bulldozed through parliament by the SNP with not a single other party voting for it and civic Scotland, from football fans to academics and lawyers, opposing it. Since then it’s been branded mince by a senior judge.

“After years of the SNP arrogantly denying they got it wrong, it’s time to blow the final whistle on the Football Act.”