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Government Agrees to Back Treating Misogyny as a Hate Crime

The Government has agreed in the House of Lords to ask police forces to treat misogyny as a hate crime from the autumn.

Published: 18 March 2021 | 1:41 PM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:32 PM
Photograph of a paper chain of people cut out and holding hands, under a bright light on a wooden desk.
This decision is a huge step in the right direction toward tackling the abuse and harassment women face every day. Photo credit: Shutterstock

In a change which will apply to police forces in England and Wales, police will be asked to record hate crimes which have been motivated by misogyny.

This moves comes following the tragic death of Sarah Everard which instigated a national conversation, demanding action to tackle violence against women and girls and the misogynistic attitudes that underpin it. The Government must listen and rethink their approach to tackle these issues.

The Make Misogyny History Campaign, of which the MU has been a long term supporter, has been calling for this move explaining how it is so essential in tackling violence against women and girls as a key part of its campaign.

MU Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, John Shortell commented on the move: “The MU are proud to support the campaign to make misogyny a hate crime. This decision is a huge step in the right direction toward tackling the abuse and harassment women face every day.”

This move does not give the police more powers

This move isn’t about giving police more powers, it’s about making sure crimes which are motivated by sex or gender are recorded in the same way – and have the same sentences and processes – as other hate crimes.

We continue to be concerned that the Government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill risks criminalising the right to peaceful protest, and will increase discrimination and undermine democracy, and we encourage members to sign Netpol’s petition to protect your freedom to protest.

A special meeting on women’s safety

The MU will also be hosting a special meeting of the Women Members Network chaired by MU Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl to talk about what more the MU can do to ensure women’s safety and practical measures that the MU can take to employers and engagers. Sign up to our Women Members Network to find out more.

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