Women's rights

Rape Trials and Sexual History Evidence: Reforming the Law on Third-Party Evidence

Despite repeated legislative attempts to restrict the use of sexual history evidence in rape trials, it continues to be admitted in many cases, causing considerable debate and leading to further attempts to reform the law. In this light, this article examines afresh the admissibility of sexual history evidence in rape trials. It focuses particularly on evidence relating to persons other than the accused (third-party evidence), following the recent controversial judgment of the Court of Appeal in R v Ched Evans where such evidence was introduced.

Orange the World: #HearMeToo – UN Theme for 16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women 2018

This year’s United Nations theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November) and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) “Orange the World: #HearMeToo” aims to support women and girls around the world who are coming together in a global movement of solidarity against the historic power imbalances in which sexual harassment and other forms of violence are so deeply rooted.

Forced marriage: mandatory reporting

The Home Office has called for responses to a proposed mandatory reporting duty requiring professionals to report cases of forced marriage. Questions for consideration include: the introduction of a mandatory reporting duty on forced marriage; what types of cases should be reported under a new duty; which age groups should be subject to a mandatory reporting duty; which professionals should the duty apply to and to whom reports should be made. The consultation closes at 11pm on 23 January 2019.

Minister for Women and Equalities announces a fundamental shift in focus for the Government Equalities Office

Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt has announced a fundamental shift in focus for the Government Equalities Office (GEO) which will include putting marginalised women at the heart of its work on gender.

Ms Mordaunt said that the GEO has made significant progress in working towards closing the gender pay gap, getting women into work and being a driving force behind getting more women on boards in top companies, but that often low-paid, low-skilled women were left out of the conversation.

Background to the 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – 25 November to 10 December

25 Nov International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
01 Dec World AIDS Day
06 Dec Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre
10 Dec International Human Rights Day

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – 25th November

UK's welfare system is cruel and misogynistic, says UN expert after damning report on poverty

Last week, The Times reported that Britain’s welfare system is so sexist it may as well have been compiled by “a group of misogynists in a room,” a UN expert has claimed. Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, warned that poverty in the UK is a “political choice” and that compassion and concern had been “outsourced” in favour of tax cuts for the rich. Alston was particularly critical of universal credit

High Court Strikes Down Home Office Decision to Cut Support for Victims of Trafficking and Modern Slavery

On the 8th November 2018, The High Court declared the decision of the Home Office to cut weekly benefits to asylum seeking victims of trafficking by over 40% – from £65 to £37.75 per week – to be unlawful. More than 1,000 victims of trafficking were affected by the cut that was unilaterally implemented by the Home Office without consultation with the affected victims or their support providers. More information here

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