Thangam speaking in Parliament
Thangam speaking in Parliament

So-called ‘upskirting’ is a vile act. It involves photographing up someone’s skirt or other clothing without their consent, sometimes sharing it online. Last Friday I was outraged (as were most MPs), that a Tory backbench MP used an obscure rule to block the passage of a Bill designed to outlaw it.

I’m glad that the government has now responded to public and cross-party political pressure and will bring forward their own Bill on this within days.

Misogynistic and sexist attitudes are the basis of this behaviour and so many other acts of sexual harassment and abuse. These attitudes are a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. They limit women’s full participation in public life and have no place in the 21st Century.

I campaigned for many years for high quality education on sex and relationships to be compulsory for all pupils in all schools, making sexism a fundamental part of the curriculum. I was proud to be part of the Parliamentary Bill Committee for the Children and Social Work Bill early in 2017 which achieved that in law.

But 18 months on, this law has not yet been implemented.

Yesterday, whilst congratulating the government on agreeing to outlaw upskirting, I challenged them to get a move on with the education part of it which could change attitudes among the younger generation.

So-called 'upskirting' is a vile act. It involves photographing up someone's skirt or other clothing without their consent, sometimes sharing it online. Last Friday I was outraged (as were most MPs), that a Tory backbench MP used an obscure rule to block the passage of a Bill designed to outlaw it. I'm glad that the government has now responded to public and cross-party political pressure and will bring forward their own Bill on this within days. Misogynistic and sexist attitudes are the basis of this behaviour and so many other acts of sexual harassment and abuse. These attitudes are a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. They limit women's full participation in public life and have no place in the 21st Century. I campaigned for many years for high quality education on sex and relationships to be compulsory for all pupils in all schools, making sexism a fundamental part of the curriculum. I was proud to be part of the Parliamentary Bill Committee for the Children and Social Work Bill early in 2017 which achieved that in law. But eighteen months on, this law has not yet been implemented. Yesterday, whilst congratulating the government on agreeing to outlaw upskirting, I challenged them to get a move on with the education part of it which could change attitudes among the younger generation.

Posted by Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West on Tuesday, 19 June 2018
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