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British PM says he will tackle violence against women

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Rachel Ogbu
WVoN co-editor

To mark International Women’s Day British Prime Minister David Cameron declared war on violence against women in the United Kingdom and abroad.

In a blog published on the Huffington Post yesterday, Cameron said it was “despicable that in the 21st century so many medieval practices and attitudes remain”.

‘It is appalling that time and again, this is shoved under the carpet. People turn a blind eye and a culture of shame and secrecy is perpetuated.

“That’s why ending violence against women and girls is a priority for this government.

“We are challenging the behind-closed-doors mentality and shining a light under the rocks to root out violence and intimidation where it’s happening – at home and abroad,” he added.

He referred to the recently announced pilot of  ‘Clare’s Law’ to help victims, or potential victims, of domestic violence by allowing women access to information about previous offending by their partner.

The prime minister announced another major step – making stalking a criminal offence in its own right.

“Stalking is an abhorrent crime. It makes life a living hell for the victims.”

Home Secretary Theresa May said that police would be given new powers of entry to investigate stalking offences.

Cameron also announced he would be signing up to the Council of Europe convention on Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, which also encompasses sexual harassment.

One of the clauses states that it will outlaw ‘unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’.

The government says it is also committed to tackling offences such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and forced abortions abroad, through targeted aid programmes.

Cameron finished the piece on the Huffington Post by saying: “International Women’s Day is vital as it forces people across the planet to focus on issues like this.

“But we have got to make sure that action to stamp out violence against women continues every day – and that’s what this government is determined to do.”

  1. vicki wharton says:

    And yet this is the same Cameron that openly sneers at women MPs in the house, uses patronisingly sexist terminology ‘ironically’ and has a minister for women in Theresa May that says that insulting and degrading women in men’s media is part of a free press. So the main cultural driver and diseminator of sexist attitudes and the ensuing violence in the home it results in is free, but boys should not act on a sexist education. Are these people fit to run a piss up in a brewery, let alone a country?

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