British lawmakers are set to vote Monday on whether misogyny constitutes a hate crime in the aftermath of the killing of a woman in London.
Lawmakers are proposing an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, which would require police in both England and Wales to keep track of cases of violence motivated by misogyny. Set to be debated in the House of Lords, Britain's upper parliamentary chamber, the amendment has cross-party support.
"This is our moment for change," said parliamentarian Stella Creasy of the Labor Party, who proposed the amendment. "Rather than telling women not to worry about violence or to stay home at night if they want to be safe, it's time to send a message that women should be equally able to live free from fear of assault or harm from those who target them simply for who they are."
Labor Party parliamentarian Alicia Kennedy added that "this is a simple measure that we could take now to start making sure every woman is safer at home and on our streets."
The change was inspired by the slaying of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive, who was kidnapped and killed on her way home on March 3. Wayne Couzens, a police officer who has been charged with kidnapping and murder in her death, will appear in court Tuesday.
A September report from the British Law Commission concluded that misogyny should be treated in the same way as discrimination against other groups. In Britain, protections — that can carry harsher sentences — already exist for race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity.
The bill also has the support of conservative and cross-bench parliamentarians, as well as of human rights organizations such as Citizens U.K., U.N. Women U.K., and the Fawcett Society.