Plaid Cymru commits to equalities pledges by gender equality organisation Chwarae Teg

Misogyny should become a hate crime, Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS and Shadow Minister for Justice and Equality Leanne Wood MS have said.

The Plaid Cymru politicians today confirmed they were backing the pledges outlined in gender equality organisation Chwarae Teg including challenging the cultural attitudes that allow sexual harassment to take place, improving reporting mechanisms and processes around sexual harassment, and improving women’s safety in public spaces.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Justice a Equalities Leanne Wood MS and Leader Adam Price MS have made a commitment to these principles, and have spoken out about the need to change the way both the education system and criminal justice system addresses violence towards women, calling for misogyny to become a hate crime.

Ms Wood said that misogyny has “become institutionalised” and that this had condoned the widespread “normalisation of harassment and assault”.

Mr Price added that the way that the criminal justice system “systematically fails women and girls” is “appalling”, and that “we cannot fail another generation of women and girls”.

On March 3, 33-year-old Sarah Everard went missing after walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham prompting a UK-wide search. Her body was found a week later in Kent.

Her kidnap and murder sparked widespread anger, vigils and protests on inequality, misogyny and violence against women and girls. In Wales Wenjing Lin, who had been killed in an attack the previous week, was remembered.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Justice and Equality, Leanne Wood MS said,

“Misogyny is everywhere. It has become institutionalised. This has to change.

“It is outrageous that we live in a society in which women are unsafe both in the company of people they know and in the company of strangers, a society in which women are attacked and killed by men because of gendered violence, a society which has normalised harassment and assault.

“We must make significant changes to education – both in schools and in the wider community. We must implement immediate safety measures to ensure women’s safety - including in the design of public spaces and public transport. And we must see change in the criminal justice system and how it deals with violence towards women.

“Misogyny should become a hate crime, not just on an experimental basis, but permanently in legislation, and Wales should have its own justice system to enforce those changes. We need to see consequences to the systematic physical and mental harm women face, and we also need men to act as allies, calling out bad behaviour when they witness it.”

Plaid Cymru Leader, Adam Price MS said,

“Violence against women and girls is part of a continuum which points to the problem of misogyny which is at the heart of our society, and it’s something that has to be addressed and changed as a matter of urgency.

“The relationship and sex education move in Wales gives us an incredibly important opportunity to change the way that we bring up and educate our children, emphasising consent and respect from an early age, and tackling harmful gender stereotypes.

“We also desperately need to do more in the criminal justice system, and we have to make misogyny a hate crime.

“The way in which the criminal justice system systematically fails women and girls at the moment - the failure in terms of sexual assault prosecutions is appalling and serves no justice for victims.

“We cannot fail another generation of women and girls.”