Misogyny could become a criminal offence in England and Wales to protect women, according to a report from the Law Commission.
The independent body, which is responsible for reviewing laws, will look at whether those abusing women because of their gender should have tougher sentences.
Currently, the groups and characteristics protected by law include race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity.
The Law Commission is calling for evidence from victims of hate crimes, police officers, prosecutors and civil liberties groups which will be assessed to help establish how misogyny hate crimes could work in practice.
Professor Penney Lewis, the criminal law commissioner, said: “Hate crime has no place in our society and we have seen the terrible impact that it can have on victims.
“Our proposals will ensure all protected characteristics are treated in the same way, and that women enjoy hate crime protection for the first time.”
Labour MP Stella Creasy, who has regularly campaigned for the review of hate crime laws, said: “Misogyny drives crimes against women – recognising that within our criminal justice system will help us detect and prevent offences including sexual assault, rape and domestic abuse.
“I now urge every woman who has walked with keys in her hands at night, been abused or attacked online or offline to come forward and be heard in this consultation.”
Following a review into hate crime law in England and Wales, secured by Stella Creasy MP in 2018 and a coalition of campaigners, the Law Commission has announced it will begin a public consultation on making misogyny a hate crime. https://t.co/hYh1geFKxQ— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) September 23, 2020
Other areas the consultation will review include the level of online abuse and threats of violence made towards women in the public eye as well as the effect on their participation in debate and public life.
It will also look at whether amending offences where the majority of victims are women, such as rape, sexual assault and female genital mutilation, is helpful considering their already gendered nature.
There will be consideration into whether protection should apply to just women, or both men and women.
The proposals on misogyny are part of a wider consultation into existing hate crime laws, which have received criticism for their complexity and the differing degrees of protection offered to different characteristics.
Assault, criminal damage and harassment have longer sentences when the perpetrator’s motivation is prejudice or hatred towards a certain group.
There is separate legislation for inciting hatred in relation to race if behaviour is found to be “threatening, abusive or insulting”.
However, similar behaviour towards a particular religion or sexual orientation can only be prosecuted if the conduct is threatening, not just abusive or insulting.
The consultation will also determine if other groups and characteristics should be offered protection, including the elderly, homeless people, sex workers and members of alternative subcultures such as goths or punks.
It will also consider whether certain non-religious philosophical beliefs, such as humanism, merit protection.
The Law Commission’s call for evidence is open from 23 September until 24 December and official recommendations to the government will be made in 2021.
- ‘Things to buy for Our Day’ – How a pupil’s petition to his mother became a national emergency
- Alleged $5m CJ bribe: Ogyeedom’s lawyer to answer 9 charges before GLC
- Our Day list: Oswald’s mother explains why her son mentioned Mrs Appiah
- Police arrest suspected criminals in swoop, retrieve weapons in Kumasi
- Join ‘100-Cedis-a-month Club’ to build National Cathedral – Finance Minister urges Ghanaians
- I will win hands down even against Asiedu Nketia – Assin North NPP parliamentary candidate
- National Cathedral to be commissioned on March 6, 2024 – Ken Ofori-Atta
- Energy Minister indicts ECG management, past boards, others for sad state of company
- Our Day list: I have a habit of forgetting, that is why my son wrote a letter – Mother
- Full text: Mid-year Budget review as presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
Parliament’s Appointment Committee approves Kissi Agyebeng
Linking child slavery to Cocoa industry a dent in brand image – Solidaridad to West African countries
Ghana’s public debt stands at 77.1 per cent – Finance Minister
Do not give out MoMo details to government – Court to telecom firms
Mrs Appiah gets cake to go with the ‘Big Coke’ on ‘Our Day’
Ecobank’s pre-tax profit surges by 32% to ¢474m for H1-2021
Our Day list: Naana Opoku Agyemang pledges iPad Pro to Oswald
Government will use ‘One Million Job Initiative’ to solve unemployment
Most homosexuals in Ghana are bi-sexual – National AIDS/STI Control Programme Manager
Police impound 89 motorbikes, 4 tricycles at Techiman
Our day list: For the iPad, truthfully I was going to disappoint him – Oswald’s mum admits
Nana B celebrates 40th birthday with presidency, NPP leaders
Banned Nigerian athletes hold protest in Tokyo
Our Day list: I have a habit of forgetting, that is why my son wrote a letter – Mother
Free SHS: Akufo-Addo hints at more budgetary allocation to education sector to address access and infrastructure