Commenting on the news that the government will review existing hate crime legislation to make misogynistic abuse a specific crime, Jean McLean – deputy director for media, campaigns and public engagement at ActionAid UK – said:
“Today’s move towards classing misogyny as a hate crime is extremely welcome. It sends a message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated, and women will be listened to and supported by the legal system.
“Allowing misogynistic behaviour and pervasive harassment to continue unchecked upholds gender imbalances that silence women and teach men they are entitled to women’s bodies. It also implies the legal system condones such behaviour – which can lead to more violence against women and girls. ActionAid works globally to alleviate these universal barriers to justice, but there is a need for more support at an institutional level.
“New measures — if properly implemented — will help create the long-term change in attitudes that we need to establish a world where women have the confidence to say my body is mine, and no-one else’s.”
Notes to editors
1. ActionAid is an international charity working with women and girls in 45 countries around the world.
2. According to a recent survey by ActionAid UK, nearly half (46%) of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment.
3. For further information, contact the media team: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or charlotte firstname.lastname@example.org; or out of hours on +44 (0) 7753 973 486.