• Kirsten

International Women's Day 2020

On International Women’s Day, I’m sure many of us pause to think about women we find inspiring. I count myself lucky to be a member of the SNP, home to so many amazing women from my fellow East Renfrewshire campaigners to our First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.


For International Women’s Day, I reflected upon some amazing women in Scotland who have made a significant impact on the lives of those around them.

These women who work hard to make life better for others, even when it’s not easy, represent the best of modern Scotland, with all it’s great diversity.


Women like Ingrid Wuga, who along with her husband Henry, has spoken to thousands of school pupils across the country, about her experience of the Holocaust, with the hope that the telling of this history will help future generations to understand what happened so it can’t happen again.


Women like Christina McKelvie MSP, a tireless champion of equality. She has consistently and fearlessly stood up for marginalised groups including the women of the Gypsy Traveller community, who have been shamefully maligned by many in position of power and authority over many years. Speaking up for others without fear or favour is not always an easy thing to do, but women like Christina with the strength and courage to speak out regardless make a difference well beyond those directly affected.


Women like Lorna Hood, who having pushed through the stained glass ceiling to become Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, holds the record for being the longest serving woman Minister in Scotland. Lorna’s work with Remembering Srebrenicza Scotland, and her focus on the mothers of Szrebrenicza has been hugely influential in its focus on humanity, respect and peace.


Women like Amna Saleem, a young Scottish-Pakistani woman whose day-job is comedy, but who has stepped up where she saw a need, and highlighted deadly serious issues of racism and inequality. Her determination in standing firm, with courtesy and patience gives others the confidence speak out.


Women like Erin Cuthbert, the midfielder who at the age of only 21 has 34 Scotland caps to her name, and who scored the goal of the year against Jamaica. Scottish women’s football is finally coming of age thanks to the hard work and dedication of Erin and others whose focus, determination and attitude is inspiring many girls in a way I could only have dreamed of when I was told at school that I couldn’t play because “football’s not for girls”. It certainly is now.


There are so many more women, who inspire those around them, whether they are in the public eye, or in our community, family or working lives. Today on International Women’s Day, let’s appreciate the changes that the action and words all of these women make possible in the lives of women around them

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Kirsten Oswald MP for East Renfrewshire

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