MPs will vote on making misogyny a hate crime this week after a campaign against street harassment pushed the issue into the spotlight.
Misogyny could become ‘aggravating factor’
In a move that will have significant ramifications for the legal landscape, MPs are set to debate an amendment to the ‘upskirting bill’ that would require courts to consider misogyny an ‘aggravating factor’ during sentencing.
Led by Labour MP Stella Creasy, members of parliament are calling for misogyny to be treated the same as offences caused by discrimination against race, religion, trans identity, sexual orientation or disability.
The amendment is supported by the Law Commission, who have previously called for a review of hate crime legislation in England and Wales.
Creasy pointed to the discrepancy between legal protections for women in the courtroom versus the workplace, where sexual discrimination is already protected by law.
Research shows an overwhelming public support for the policy after a pilot scheme in Nottinghamshire that recorded instances of street harassment against women. Nine of out ten women surveyed said they had either experienced or witnessed sexual harassment in public.
Speaking to The Guardian, Stella Creasy MP said that ‘upskirting, street harassment, sexually based violence and abuse [is] part of life for so many, it’s time to learn from where misogyny has been treated as a form of hate crime and end this gap’.