‘Raise your Voice’ for new legislation bringing communities together against misogyny.

By Nicole McBride

Councils across Northern Ireland are raising their voice for new hate crime legislation around

misogyny and sexual abuse.

Derry City and Strabane district council have shown overwhelming support this month for

the ‘Raise your Voice’ campaign, calling for crimes targeted at women, based on misogyny,

to be labelled as hate crimes.

At the monthly meeting, SDLP Councillor Mary Durken proposed the motion to support and

recognise the work of the ‘Raise your Voice’ campaign and to make a representation to Judge

Desmond Marrinan’s ongoing hate crime legislation.

Northern Ireland as a whole, has a very strong female voice within both local councils and in

Stormont. However, 75 percent of female councillors have at some point in their careers

experienced misogyny in some way. The growth of social media has made this even more

apparent that this behaviour is rife. 

Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly said, ‘it is a massive issue that goes across all areas of

society and it needs to be tackled.”

He confessed, “I’ve seen women being verbally attacked and the manor of it was absolutely


“Only when we make society aware that it’s not acceptable will we be able to start

dismantling the criminal attitude towards women.”

Councillor McCluskey said, “I cannot support the motion on the grounds that it was

championed by Stella Creasy who gave us abortion on demand.”

“They talk about raising our voice and yet she takes the voice of tens of thousands of women

each year.”

Fellow pro-lifer SDLP Councillor Angela Dobbins argued, “this is about the project, about

misogyny, not the person who runs it.”

Before this motion went to vote, Councillor McClusky withdrew her objection and the

motion was passed without a vote.  This is the fourth council to support the motion to go

forward to the law council review.