First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. (Photo: Pool via Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon has spoken out about the stigma that surrounds women who do not have children.
Scotland’s first minister said they were often dismissed as “cold-hearted bitches” who prioritise their careers over having a family.
The senior politician has been scrutinised in the past over why she never had children with her husband Peter Murrell.
In 2016 she revealed she had suffered a miscarriage five years earlier at the age of 40 just as she was preparing to share the news with family.
Despite admitting she is a “reserved” person, Sturgeon said she spoke out to confront assumptions.
She told The Guardian: “Because if you are a woman, particularly in a senior position without children, there is an assumption made that you’re a cold-hearted bitch that has decided to prioritise your career over having children.”
‘Them’s the breaks’ - Penny Mordaunt talks about not having children in the Tel pic.twitter.com/iSy9304wHB
— Jack Elsom (@JackElsom) July 11, 2022
Asked if she has ever felt judged for not having children, she told the paper: “I have been subject to a lot of scrutiny and commentary about it. Is that being judged?
“I don’t know. And men don’t get that. The perfect illustration is me and Salmond.
“I can’t recall a single interview that he did in his entire time as first minister or SNP leader about why he didn’t have children.”
Sturgeon also said she felt a responsibility to reduce the stigma surrounding the menopause, adding: “If there are things you can do to try to move the dial a little bit, I’ve got some obligation to do that.”
In a recent interview with The Telegraph, former Tory leadership hopeful Penny Mordaunt was asked about never having children.
She told the paper: “This is never a question levelled at men! I love children and would love to have been a mum. But it just never happened for me.
“It’s sad, but I think a lot of people are in the same situation. As someone said recently, them’s the breaks.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.