The Assembly will consider an SDLP motion tomorrow (23rd March) calling on the Justice Minister to introduce a comprehensive strategy to address violence against women and girls to include legislative provision making misogyny a hate crime.
The motion comes as Northern Ireland remains the only region across these islands without a specific strategy to tackle gender-based violence. The SDLP proposers will make the case for lifelong interventions to erode sexist attitudes, misogyny and build positive relationships with women.
Speaking ahead of the debate, SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA said:
“Our society has a deep rooted problem with misogyny and violence against women. The brutal murder of Stacey Knell and Karen McClean on Friday has brought the clear inadequacy of the systems that are designed to protect women into sharp focus.
“It is unacceptable that we remain the only place on these islands without a specific strategy to address violence against women and girls. There is no space for complacency while women face misogynistic abuse every day.
“The SDLP has tabled a motion to be heard before the Assembly calling for the introduction of a robust strategy, underpinned by legislation to make misogyny a hate crime. This problem demands a whole-society approach. That’s why we’re also proposing early intervention in our schools to erode sexism and place a focus on building positive lifelong relationships with women.”