A NEW campaign has been launched by the SNP to tackle the gender gap in employment in rural areas.

Fresh statistics from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) show the gender gap is more pronounced across rural local authority areas in Scotland than in the nation as a whole with a difference of 8.7 per cent in rural areas, compared to 6.2 per cent nationwide.

However, in the Highland Council area the gap is much wider at 13.3 per cent.

SNP candidate Kate Forbes kicked off the campaign yesterday by writing an open letter to employers across rural Scotland urging the promotion of gender balance in leadership roles in the tourism and hospitality sector in particular.

The candidate for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: “With a bigger gap between the level of men and women in work in rural areas, this is an issue that is of particular concern here in the Highlands.”