Swearing to take on Mental Health
Mental illness should not be seen as an inevitable part of life but we are still along way from seeing the ‘parity of esteem’, the principle by which mental health must be given equal priority to physical health. This is why I got behind “MQ’s ‘We Swear’ campaign, which aims to make it clear that radical change is needed right now and asks the public to show their support for swearing to take on mental illness.
Delighted to meet up with some of the Ayrshire WASPI women who had travelled down to Westminster on Budget Day as part of a considerable and very loud Scottish contingent to protest as the UK Government’s refusal to make provision for the thousands of women who have been unable to make contingency plans for their pension age being put back by some five or more years through no fault of their own. Their determination and positivity in the face of such utter injustice and disregard shown by this Tory Government is an example to us all.
Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill
I was delighted to support the passage of my colleague Dr Eilidh Whiteford’s Bill to tackle violence against women – the first SNP Bill to be passed through the House of Commons. If it passes the House of Lords, the legislation will require the UK government to ratify the ‘Istanbul Convention’, which puts legal obligations on the State to prevent violence against women and prosecute perpetrators. The Convention encompasses many forms of sexual violence and domestic abuse including stalking, harassment, sexual assault and rape, physical and psychological abuse by a partner, forced marriage, forced abortion or sterilisation and female genital mutilation. The UK signed the treaty in 2012 but has yet to ratify it to make it part of UK law. It is not easy to get a Private Members Bill passed but this Bill secured cross-party support, which is testament to the work of Eilidh and the many women’s organisations and charities which championed it. Of course, the Bill is not an end point in itself but part of the journey to equality and justice for women.
Remove the Tax on Child Support for Victims of Domestic Violence
I’ve signed up to support my SNP colleague, Angela Crawley’s, campaign to scrap the collection charge on child maintenance payments for parents who have escaped domestic abuse. You too can sign the petition calling on the UK Government to remove the tax on child support for victims of domestic violence https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177815