Misogyny – A Human Rights Issue

The Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice's independent report on their findings and recommendations.

Section 6: Learning from other jurisdictions

Learning from other jurisdictions

The Working Group looked to other jurisdictions, including the US, Canada, France, Australia, the Netherlands as well as at work in Nottinghamshire, England to learn from initiatives to address misogynistic behaviour. See Annex 3 for details, the summary of findings is that across these contexts:

  • The law alone cannot address misogyny. Education, communication and training are critical.
  • Implementation measures (for new law) need to be properly resourced and sustained. (The Working Group understands that there is a strong precedent for effective implementation in the approach taken with the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, termed the world's new gold standard for domestic abuse legislation.)[72]
  • More targeted measures appear to be more effective than those that rely on boosting use of existing laws.
  • Expecting victims to change their behaviour and report incidents is likely to be ineffective without holistic approaches, including education and skill building throughout the criminal justice system and key institutions.
  • Arguably, France has had the most success in terms of enforcement of street harassment laws. The French Street Harassment Law (2018) includes penalties of on the spot fines for perpetrators. To date, over 2,000 fines have been issued for instances of behaviour constituting misogynistic conduct on the streets. This high enforcement is likely because the implementation involved: awareness raising, the simultaneous introduction of other laws and initiatives, and the appointment of supporters of the law to key government positions. Recently, the French Government has indicated its support for strengthening these measures.[73]


Email: bill.brash@gov.scot

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