Council Takes a Stand Against Misogyny

By Amy Murray

Derry City and Strabane District Council has moved to support the inclusion of misogyny as a category of hate crime.

The motion was put forward by SDLP Councillor Mary Durkan at the council’s meeting on the 24th September.

Councillor Durkan stressed the importance of recognising the impact of misogyny on the personal and professional lives of women (including trans women), girls and non-binary people.

“We know that Derry girls and Strabane women are known to be the backbone of families, but we’re not immune from gender inequality and misogyny.”

The motion has already been supported by a number of other cross-community councils here.

It comes during Judge Desmond Marrinan’s ongoing review of hate crime legislation.

Councillor Shauna Cusack supported the motion stating, “any steps that can be taken to eradicate this vile behaviour and this scourge in our population is very welcome in my books and in the books of the SDLP.”

AONTU Councillor Anne McCloskey was the only council member who spoke against the motion because of its association with Labour MP Stella Creasy. 

“She talks about raising your voice and yet she takes the voice from tens of thousands of women every year or approves of it.”

Councillor McCloskey also indicated that while she did believe that misogyny was “stupid, vile, and unacceptable”, she also thought the current laws against discrimination and internet abuse were robust enough.

“This is about mutual respect for everybody and I think these laws end up being more divisive and cause more problems,” she said.

In response, SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins, wishing to go on the record as a pro-life member of the council, said:

“This is about the project against misogyny, not about the person who runs it.”

The motion was passed without a vote, with Councillor McCloskey recognised as the only one against the motion.

Author profile

Amy Murray is a QUB Music Graduate and current Journalism MA student at Ulster Univeristy. She has a passion for Cultural, Social and Solutions Journalism. She represented Northern Ireland at the British Council’s Future News Worldwide Conference in 2019.