8 March 2020

Commenting today on International Women’s Day, Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for communities and equalities Pauline McNeill said:

“I wish all women a happy International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is Each for Equal, bringing together the next generation of women and girl leaders — and rightly so.

“However, we cannot ignore the worrying fact that male violence against women is on the increase, despite a fall in violent crime in Scotland. The actual figures will be considerably higher than statistics suggest because of the low reporting of such crimes.

“Women will never be equal if we are not safe from violence.

“In the UK, one in four women will experience domestic abuse and one in five will experience sexual assault — staggeringly, the global figure rises to one in three.

“In Scotland, if a woman is murdered, it is most likely to be at the hands of their partner or former partner—that accounts for 60 per cent of total homicides of women last year.

“We will get nowhere near our goals until we tackle male violence and male control over women’s lives.

“We must be clear that as women in parliament we have work to do, though we recognise that this Parliament has made great strides.

“There has been progress since the first days of the women’s liberation movement, but we know that we still have a long way to go.

" As we celebrate 50 years since the passing of the Equal Pay Act and the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act, we all know that our fight against male dominance will last for a long time to come.

“Let us make sure that such legislation, which has served the interests of women well, continues to do so in the years to come.

“We must also recognise the efforts made by men to help create a fairer gender balance around the world. We must all work together towards a time where there is true gender equality in all aspects of life.”
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