NICOLA Sturgeon was yesterday named as the inaugural global advocate for a UN gender equality solidarity campaign.

The First Minister was given the role as the Scottish Government became a signatory to the HeForShe movement founded by UN Women. It aims to engage men and boys as advocates for equality.

Sturgeon’s appointment was announced during a meeting with the executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in New York. As a global advocate, the First Minister has pledged to make concrete commitments to advancing gender equality around the world and to support UN Women in its work to end global gender inequality. Sturgeon, who is on a five-day visit to the US and Canada also announced a new pilot project to reduce rates of early and child marriage in rural areas of Malawi as part of a further Scottish Government partnership with UN Women.