Women's rights

Criminalising ‘cyberflashing’ is a waste of time

It’s a fact of life that at any given time, a woman’s social media messages will be filled with three things. Young Ponzi schemers asking if you want to earn £500-a-month from the comfort of your own sofa; an unknown jewellery brand with 15 followers begging you to be their new ‘brand ambassador’; and blurry photos of a man’s penis. The men who send these pictures are weirdos, obviously. But if the government gets its way, soon they’ll also be criminals. The Online Safety Bill, going through parliament today, makes so-called ‘cyberflashing’ a criminal offence. According to the government, the new law will mean that: ‘Anyone who sends a photo or film of a person’s genitals, for the

Why I joined the trans debate

It was easy to miss because even at the best of times the House of Lords doesn’t grab public attention. But this week, something remarkable happened in parliament. In narrow legislative terms, peers have forced the government to accept amendments to the Ministerial and Other Maternity Allowances Bill. The Bill will make it possible for a minister who is pregnant — such as Suella Braverman, the Attorney General — to take leave from work without resigning ministerial office. That should be uncontroversial, but the language of the Bill left something to be desired. The Bill passed the Commons earlier this month using phrases such as ‘the person is pregnant’ and

Imran Khan’s rape crackdown won’t make Pakistan safer for women

Rapists in Pakistan will soon face a stark choice. Under a law backed by the country’s prime minister, Imran Khan, those convicted of rape can either be chemically castrated, face life imprisonment or even a death sentence. But while the new law sounds radical, it’s unlikely it will be enough to curb the wave of sex attacks against women in Pakistan. The tough measures have been painted as something of a compromise by Khan, who has said those found guilty of sex attacks should be hanged in public. Dismissing this as an option, Khan said introducing such a punishment would ‘not be internationally acceptable’. ‘The trade status given to us by the European Union