Scotland

Sturgeon praises Clinton in New York

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionHillary Clinton and Nicola Sturgeon met backstage at the Women in the World event

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has met the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York.

They chatted backstage at the Women in the World conference where they each gave separate live interviews.

The two women do not agree on everything, with Mrs Clinton publicly opposing the release of the Lockerbie bomber and Scottish independence.

But the first minister told the conference that female leaders like her owed Mrs Clinton "a debt of gratitude".

Ms Sturgeon said Mrs Clinton had blazed a trail and made it easier for others to follow.

Both politicians spoke out against misogyny when they appeared on stage.

They met behind the scenes for a brief chat and posed for pictures which have since appeared online.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionNicola Sturgeon says rape clause 'disgusting'

During her interview at Tina Brown's Women in the World summit, Ms Sturgeon's harshest words were reserved for the UK tax policy that has become known as the "rape clause".

The plan to restrict tax credits for any new claimants to a maximum of two children was announced in the 2015 budget and came into force this month.

It means women who have had a third or subsequent child as a result of rape will still be able to claim tax credits, but will have to demonstrate their exceptional circumstances to qualify.

Ms Sturgeon told the audience: "It is a disgusting and disgraceful policy but that policy has been introduced by a woman prime minister.

"That is the point I am making. It is not enough to be a women in politics, you have to do the right thing with the power you have got."

The Department for Work and Pensions points out that allowing women to claim tax credits for a third child in this specific set of circumstances is an exception they have made in a "compassionate way".

The first minister, who was introduced to the audience as the "Queen of Scots", criticised a recent tabloid front page that reduced talks between her and UK Prime Minister Theresa May to a contest between their legs.

The Daily Mail faced a backlash last week for comparing Mrs May and Ms Sturgeon's legs when they met amid disagreements over Brexit and the first minister's push for a second Scottish referendum on independence.

"I tried not to overreact," Ms Sturgeon said about the headline "Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!"

"No matter how much progress women have made and are making, it's a vivid illustration of how much more we still have to achieve," she said.

She referenced an image taken last year from a meeting with May in Edinburgh that was cut off at the knees looking at their shoes.

"This tendency to reduce women to body parts or to what they wear or what their hair looks like is not innocent and it's not something we should just laugh off," she said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a conversation with British journalist Tina Brown during a session of the Women in the World Summit in New York

Sturgeon said she was inspired by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and praised her for standing up to Donald Trump immediately after his electoral victory last year.

"I've never been comfortable with the idea that when fundamental principles and values are at stake that politicians should just retain a diplomatic silence," she said.

"I think we've all got a duty on some occasions to speak up and Angela Merkel did that," Ms Sturgeon added.

Ms Sturgeon also spoke out against what she called an "air of misogyny" about Hillary Clinton's treatment during the election.

Image caption Women in the World host Tina Brown tweeted this picture of Nicola Sturgeon and Hillary Clinton

"The way that Hillary was talked about, the treatment that Hillary suffered at times, just seemed to me to have an air of misogyny about it, that I wanted to believe that we had moved on from," she said.

"She has made it easier for women like me in politics and I think for that I and women across the world really owe Hillary Clinton a debt of gratitude," she said.

More on this story