She attended the Craigholme School for Girls in Glasgow and the University of Glasgow, where she graduated with a law degree.
Before becoming an MP, Annabelle Ewing was a European Community competition lawyer in Brussels and ran a small legal practice.
She lives in Perthshire. Her mother is former SNP President, Winnie Ewing, who in the past was a member of three different parliaments — Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and the European Parliament. She is sister to MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) Fergus Ewing, and sister-in-law to the late Margaret Ewing, who was also an MSP and a former Westminster MP.
Ewing is a member of both Shelter and Amnesty International. She has been involved in a number of Parliamentary campaigns, including fighting for the rights of Hepatitis C sufferers, and working to gain a public enquiry into the events at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, where James Collinson, a constituent, died on 23 March 2002.
Ewing was first selected as a SNP candidate for the UK Parliament to contest a by-election for Hamilton South in 1999, the constituency where her mother had won a famous by-election victory in 1967. Labour had a comfortable majority at the 1997 election and despite a swing of 16% to the SNP in 1999, Labour's Bill Tynan won the contest.
In 2001, Ewing stood for the UK Parliament again, this time in Perth, where Roseanna Cunningham had been the MP. Ewing was elected, defeating the Conservative candidate by just 48 votes, giving her the slimmest majority in Scotland. In the 2005 election, following a radical boundary revision, she contested the new constituency of Ochil and South Perthshire, but lost it to the Labour party candidate, Gordon Banks.
She sought to become SNP candidate for Moray in the 27 April 2006 Scottish Parliament by-election to succeed her late sister-in-law, Margaret Ewing, but was defeated by North East Scotland MSP Richard Lochhead who went on to win the seat in the by-election.
She was later selected to contest the Falkirk East seat in the 2007 election on behalf of the SNP as a replacement for the previously selected candidate, the late Douglas Henderson. On 3 May 2007 she achieved a 9% swing from Labour to the SNP in Falkirk East, however this was not enough to displace the incumbent Cathy Peattie.
She contested Ochil and South Perthshire for a second time at the 2010 election, failing again to take it from Gordon Banks, this time on an increased (4%) swing away from the SNP to Labour. At the 2011 election Ewing was elected to the Scottish Parliament as an additional member for the Mid Scotland and Fife region.
She is famed due to an incident that occurred on 16 December 2004, whereby the Deputy Speaker removed her from the House as she refused to apologise for calling the then Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon a "back-stabbing coward" during exchanges over Geoff Hoon's plans to merge Scottish Regiments, including the Black Watch.
She was promoted to the Scottish Government on 21 November 2014 in Nicola Sturgeon's first reshuffle. She becomes Minister for Youth and Women's Employment.