Thursday 23 November 2017

UN official hits at 'boys' club' sexist culture in Britain

UN special rapporteur on violence Rashida Manjoo who said misogyny in the UK was more “in your face” than anything she had seen before.
UN special rapporteur on violence Rashida Manjoo who said misogyny in the UK was more “in your face” than anything she had seen before.

Sarah Morrison London

BRITAIN has a "boys' club sexist culture" according to an investigation by a UN human rights investigator, who said misogyny in the UK was more "in your face" than anything she had seen before.

Rashida Manjoo, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, said sexism was "more visible" in Britain than in any other country she had visited, including Algeria, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, India and Croatia.

The findings are the result of a 16-day fact-finding mission by Ms Manjoo, who said violence against women remained a "pervasive challenge throughout the UK".

She drew particular attention to the sexualisation of women and girls in the media (citing The Sun's page 3), misogynistic advertising, harassment on trains and in public spaces, the bullying of girls in school, the "disproportionate" effect of austerity measures on women, and the inability of the criminal justice system to respond to female survivors of violence.

"I am also concerned by legal and policy responses that are often limited to some harmful practices – such as early/forced marriages of young women and girls – while ignoring all the harms emanating due to a sexist culture that exists in the country, which impacts all women and girls," she added.

It is not the first time that a UN official has intervened in British politics. Last year, Raquel Rolnik, the UN special rapporteur on housing, caused anger within the government when she said the bedroom tax should be abolished.

ISOLATED

Ms Manjoo said there were "isolated pockets of good practice", such as the government-led campaigns to educate young people about violence at home, in schools and through social media.

However, she said positive developments "are not applied consistently throughout the country".

She added that reforms to the funding of trauma services and the benefits system "continue adversely to affect women's ability to address safety and other relevant issues". (© Independent News Service)

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