(16 May 2017) Labour and other manifestos published so far make wide range of commitments to tackle violence against women and girls
Responding to the publication today (16 May) of the Labour Party manifesto, the End Violence Against Women Coalition warmly welcomed the commitment to establish a new “Violence Against Women Commissioner” who would help improve standards in responding to domestic and sexual violence, and ensure there is “stable central funding” for support services.
The Labour manifesto also promises to scrap the child tax credits “rape clause” (which requires survivors of rape to “prove” they have been raped before accessing tax credits) and to retain the Human Rights Act.
The Green Party women’s manifesto document and the Women’s Equality Party manifesto, both published during the last week, also make prominent pledges on ending violence against women and girls – both would also scrap ‘rape clause’ and maintain human rights legislation – and they make prominent calls for changes to the way women in immigration related detention are treated. The EVAW Coalition is disappointed, however, at the Green Party’s commitment to the “full decriminalisation” of prostitution.
The EVAW Coalition will publish a full analysis of all the party manifestos, comparing and contrasting their commitments in this area, as soon as they are all available. The EVAW Coalition has published its own Priorities for Government ‘manifesto’ document addressed to the next Government.
[Update, 17 May: Lib Dem manifesto launch – The EVAW Coalition welcomes the commitment in the Liberal Democrats manifesto published today (17 May) to scrapping the ‘rape clause’ and to protecting the Human Rights Act. While there are also good pledges on justice in domestic and sexual violence cases, and on immigration detention, we are appalled, however, at the proposal in this manifesto to decriminalise not only the sale and purchase of sex but also “the management of sex work” (p71), which appears to suggest those who organise and facilitate the ‘pimping’ and sale of others should face no criminal penalty. EVAW will publish a full review of all the main party manifestos when they are all available.] [Update, 18 May: Conservative manifesto launch – EVAW is pleased to see the commitment to new domestic violence and abuse legislation and a “domestic violence and abuse commissioner”, alongside a review of refuge funding and commitments to tackling online abuse in today’s Conservative Party manifesto. We are glad that the Conservatives pledge not to repeal the Human Rights Act during the Brexit process, and hope any future suggested review of the “human rights legal framework” will accept the particular need of women and girls for European Convention standard protections. We are disappointed that this document is not taking the opportunity to scrap the ‘rape clause’, and that the particular needs of women in the asylum and immigration systems are not mentioned.]
EVAW will publish a full review of all the main party manifestos very soon on this website.