Jeremy Corbyn vows to crack down on online sexist abuse
Jeremy Corbyn has announced plans for “training and guidance” for Labour members about online misogynistic abuse.
A string of female Labour MPs have been targeted on Twitter and Facebook, leading to criticism of Mr Corbyn for not taking a harder line.
The Labour leader has included tackling social media abuse as one of the key parts of a strategy to increase the number of women in public life.
He will announce a “wide-ranging consultation exercise” on strengthening laws and pressing organisations to promote a “safe and respectful” atmosphere online.
“Within the party we will take forward the recommendations of the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry [on anti-Semitism] to consult on and introduce a wider Equal Opportunities Policy, training and guidance for members and staff, recognising that online abuse is often also racist and homophobic in nature as well as misogynistic,” the policy document adds.
As well as the crackdown on online threats, Mr Corbyn announced a series of other proposals to improve gender equality.
These include backing all-women shortlists to bring the proportion of women in Parliament up to 50%, a regular “gender audit” of Labour policies, and consulting on creating a Women’s Advisory Board to give input on how to make sure women are “at the heart” of the party’s policies.
“We will never be a successful society in which everybody is able to achieve their potential until we have full equality for women,” he will say at a campaign rally tonight.
“Under my leadership, Labour will take action to remove the barriers in our society to women achieving full equality, we will tackle discrimination, sexism and violence against women and girls, both online and physical.”
Mr Corbyn will also argue that austerity has “disproportionately harmed” women, and say that Labour would seek to increase the number of females working in science and engineering roles.
“Labour will end Tory austerity which has particularly affected women,” he will say.
“I am committing the Labour party for the first time to publish a regular ‘gender audit’ of our policies and seriously explore options to enshrine strategic women’s policy-making at the top of our organisation.
“We will also take tangible measures to address the shortfall of women in public life by supporting all women shortlists to achieve gender balance in Parliament and set a target of 50:50 representation across public offices.
“I want to ensure that women are at the heart of all our policy making, and that is why I am launching a consultation on the creation of a Women’s Advisory Board and strengthening representation in our party to make sure that women from all walks of life are truly reflected not just in policy making but also our decision making.
“We will not transform society overnight, but working together we can take us further along the path to an equal society to rebuild and transform Britain so that no one and no community is left behind.”
Women have struggled in internal elections for the top roles in the Labour party.
Labour has never elected a female leader, while at present its deputy leader, general secretary and all the candidates for major city mayoralties are men.