Rights that have benefited women could be put at risk in an independent Scotland, shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran has claimed.

Ms Curran has appealed to the female electorate to vote No in September's referendum, saying women have been "badly served" by the SNP administration.

Her comments follow publication of the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey, which revealed that 31% of women support independence compared with 43% of men, excluding undecided voters.

Ms Curran told a Labour Party summit for women's organisations in Edinburgh today that First Minister Alex Salmond is "blinded" to the risks of independence.

Too many questions remain unanswered, including what currency an independent Scotland would use, she said.

Competing with the rest of the UK - for example by cutting corporation tax to attract businesses to Scotland - could lead to a "race to the bottom" that would impact on women, Ms Curran argued.

She said: "A race to the bottom on tax would give way to a race to the bottom on pay and conditions, and women would bear the brunt. Putting at risk hard-won rights that have benefited women - from the minimum wage, to maternity rights, to equal pay.

"I know we can achieve more for women in the UK."

Ms Curran outlined the findings of research from the House of Commons library, which looked at female board representation in several Scottish Government agencies since the SNP came to power in 2007.

The research found that fewer than a third of board members of some non-departmental public bodies are women, and several bodies, including VisitScotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, have only one or two female board members.

It also found that, on average, only four out of every 10 health board members are women.

Ms Curran said: "It is bitterly disappointing that we have seen the number of women go down in the Scottish Parliament.

"And I believe this is an indictment of the current leadership in Scotland.

"So 50:50 on public boards will be a key policy for Labour in Scotland after the next election.

"The Tories have now been in power in the UK for four and a half years. And the SNP in Scotland for seven.

"Scotland's women have been badly served by both."

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: "For Margaret Curran to take women and their votes for granted is extremely arrogant.

"There is a real risk of the Tories being re-elected next year, and in these circumstances a majority of women as well as men favour independence.

"And the snap poll conducted after last week's debate showed support for Yes at 48% among women, compared to 45% for men.

"The Westminster Government has an absolutely appalling track record when it comes to women - with research from the House of Commons library finding women bearing the brunt of 69% of Tory welfare cuts.

"We believe that women will vote Yes next month, because it is our one opportunity to protect the NHS from privatisation, create more jobs, and revolutionise childcare instead of wasting billions of pounds of Scottish taxpayers' money on nuclear weapons."