Malthouse says schools should teach boys respect for women and girls

Schools urged to teach boys how to treat women and girls with respect on Britain’s streets

  • Respect for women and girls should be taught in classrooms, said Kit Malthouse 
  • Boys could learn how to treat women on the streets and in public as part of RSE
  • His comments come as Britain continues to mourn the murder of Sarah Everard

Showing respect for women and girls should be taught to boys in the classroom, policing minister Kit Malthouse has said. 

Malthouse suggested that teachers could provide lessons to young men on how women should be treated on the streets and in public, as an addition to RSE (relationships and sex education), The Times reports.

His comments come as Britain continues to mourn the murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who had been walking home to Brixton, south London, following an evening with friends when she disappeared on March 3.

The policing minister told The Times that children needed ‘role models’ to understand relationships and said the government had previously introduced PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) to teach children important social skills. 

Showing respect for women and girls should be taught to boys in the classroom, policing minister Kit Malthouse (pictured) has said

Malthouse added: ‘It may be that we need to think about what PSHE includes about, for example, the way people are treated in the street and the way women and girls are contemplated in the public realm.’ 

A Department for Education source also told The Times that teachers were free to ‘expand’ on the ‘flexible’ curriculum by ‘reflecting on events and movements in society’.  

Britain mourns the murder of Sarah Everard, 33

Conservative former minister Andrea Leadsom also called for the UK to ‘teach our boys and girls the profound importance of mutual respect’.

Leadsom told the Commons on Monday: ‘The appalling events of recent days have caused great anger and anxiety. My inbox has many emails calling for curfews on men and many others calling for greater understanding that not all men are perpetrators.

‘At such a difficult time, we must find the right balance between personal freedom and state intervention, but also recognise how vital it is that we teach our boys and our girls the profound importance of mutual respect.’ 

Labour MP Sarah Champion said that ministers must consider making misogyny a hate crime.

Champion told the Commons: ‘Tragic events of the last week have shown just how important this Bill is. For too long, abuse and particularly violence against women and girls, has gone on unchecked and survivors have been left to deal with a system that not only isn’t working, but is often making their situation worse.

‘Crimes against women often specifically occur because they are women. These crimes are not gender neutral and so the law should not be either. The definition must be considered about making misogyny a hate crime.’

Flowers and messages are seen at a memorial site at the Clapham Common Bandstand, following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard, in London, Britain March 15, 2021

Yesterday Boris Johnson chaired a meeting of the Criminal Justice Taskforce, amid a huge campaign to end violence against women and girls in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death.

The PM said: ‘The horrific case of Sarah Everard has unleashed a wave of feeling about women not feeling safe at night.

‘Ultimately, we must drive out violence against women and girls and make every part of the criminal justice system work to better protect and defend them.’

The Government’s announcement last night saw £25million added to the Safer Streets Fund, which provides neighbourhood measures such as better lighting and CCTV, bringing the total budget up to £45million.

It also said there would be a ‘commitment’ with officials to ensure potential target areas such as parks and alleyways and routes from bars, restaurants and nightclubs, are properly policed, with officers ‘focused on preventing sexual violence’.

It also plans to work with local constabularies to deploy uniformed and plain clothes officers around nightclubs and bars to ensure women are safe, while also increasing patrols as people leave at closing time. It follows a successful scheme dubbed ‘Project Vigilant,’ which was used by Thames Valley Police.

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