'Men simply must change': Sadiq Khan pledges to ensure women 'feel safe' in London

7 April 2021, 14:53

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "men simply must change" as he launched his re-election pledge.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said "men simply must change" as he launched his re-election pledge. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Sadiq Khan has said "men simply must change", as he launched a re-election pledge to ensure all women and girls always "feel safe and are safe" in London.

The problem of harassment and violence against women is not just amongst a minority, the mayor said, as he announced a manifesto package aimed at targeting the issue.

"It breaks my heart that so many women and girls do not feel safe in our country on a daily basis. And let's be honest - these problems are caused by the unacceptable attitudes and behaviours of men," Mr Khan said in a statement.

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"The problem is not just with the minority of men who are violent, the problem is also with those men who are sexist, continue to behave inappropriately around women, perpetuate a toxic form of masculinity or just stand by silently when women feel threatened or are being threatened.

"Men simply must change."

There has been an outpouring of anger and calls for change in the wake of Sarah Everard's death.
There has been an outpouring of anger and calls for change in the wake of Sarah Everard's death. Picture: PA

Mr Khan says his aim is to ensure all women and girls "are safe and feel safe in the capital", particularly following the death of Sarah Everard, whose body was found after she disappeared while walking home in south London.

Ms Everard's death spared an outpouring of anger about women's safety, particularly in public spaces.

Should he be reelected, the mayor says he will start "by refreshing London's strategy to tackle violence against women and girls and implementing a host of new measures".

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He has also pledged to "build on" London's violence against women and girls strategy if re-elected, and to strive to repair the "low level of confidence many women and girls have in the criminal justice system when reporting harassment and abuse".

This includes working with police to encourage abuse and rape victims to come forward, and on improving conviction rates.

"I promise to spearhead the change we desperately need to see in the way women and girls are treated in every single part of our society and at all ages," the mayor added.