Labour's Kezia Dugdale is to make a veiled attack on Scotland's First Minister, claiming "feminists in positions of power" are needed to help achieve gender equality rather than just female politicians in high office.

While the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon has become Scotland's first female first minister, Scottish Labour leader Ms Dugdale will say it is her party that has achieved most to help transform the lives of women across the country.

She will point to Labour's record in introducing the minimum wage, passing the Equality Act, improving maternity and paternity leave and expanding childcare.

Ms Dugdale will insist: "We don't just need women in positions of influence, but feminists in positions of power."

The new Scottish Labour leader will make the comments in what will be her first major speech to a UK audience as she addresses the UK Labour annual women's conference in Brighton.

Holyrood has three female party leaders, with Ms Sturgeon and Ms Dugdale joined by Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

Ms Dugdale will say: "Much has been made of the fact that in Scotland we have all three main parties led by women.

"But, as we struggle for equality, we should remember that while we want equal representation for its own sake, it is also a means to an end. It must be used to deliver equality for all women, not just politicians.

"I get frustrated when I hear people say that having a woman in power is an inspiration, as if that by itself is enough to transform the lives of young women in Scotland.

"Young women are told 'if you are good enough and work hard enough, you can achieve anything'.

"We hear it each time a woman is elected to high office and we hear it again in Scotland today. It just isn't true."

Ms Dugdale will demand Labour leaders "at every level to show a commitment to feminism" as she highlights her party's record in tackling inequality.

An SNP spokesman said: "On becoming Scotland's first female First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon sent out a strong signal of her determination to achieve true gender equality by appointing the UK's first gender-balanced cabinet - and one of very few gender-balanced cabinets anywhere in the world.

"Under the SNP, more women are in work than in any other UK nation, the number of women studying full-time at college is up 15% and we are taking action to achieve gender balance on public and private boards.

"We know that there is much more to do if we are to achieve true gender equality but we need the powers to do so.

"Kezia Dugdale should encourage her colleagues at Westminster to back the devolution of employment and equalities policy so that these powers rest with the Scottish Parliament and not Tories in Whitehall."