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NWC Welcome Inclusion of Gender as a Protected Ground in Hate Crime Legislation

Published: Friday, April 16, 2021

The National Women’s Council has today welcomed the inclusion of gender as a protected ground in the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill 2021.

 Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council said,

“We welcome the inclusion of gender as a protected ground in the Criminal Justice Bill 2021, and the recognition that assault, coercion and threats to kill or to harm can be motivated by misogyny.  We particularly welcome the clear societal message the Bill sends that gender-based harassment is unacceptable. We know that harassment is overwhelmingly gendered and has a major impact on the everyday lives of women, both online and offline. The collective impact of these gender targeted actions affects all women, creating overall hostile public fora.  Naming gender as a protected ground will make it more culturally acceptable to object to the behaviour and will recognise the additional harm caused to the individuals involved.”

 Orla continued,

“The inclusion of gender as a protected ground in this legislation will also ensure that a hate element is recognised throughout the criminal process and addressed from the point of recording to sentencing and post-conviction processes, allowing for important collection of data, which in turn will lead to targeted responses to offenders.” 

 Jennifer McCarthy Flynn, Head of Policy at the National Women’s Council said,

“We recognise that for women from minority backgrounds, sexist abuse is often compounded by racism, homophobia and transphobia, and we particularly welcome the inclusion of ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and disability in the legislation.”

For more information, please contact Laura Pakenham, NWC Digital Communications Officer, laurap@nwci.ie  Tel. 085 8619087