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UK’s ‘sexist culture’ warned UN probe on women’s rights

LONDON, April 17, (AFP): A United Nations investigator warned on Tuesday that Britain had a “boys’ club sexist culture” that was more pervasive than in other countries. Rashido Manjoo, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, also confirmed that she was blocked from entering an immigration detention centre for women during her 16-day fact-finding visit to Britain.

In an initial report on violence against women, the South African human rights expert said legal and policy responses focused on harmful practices, such as forced marriages, but ignored the dangers from “a sexist culture that exists in the country”. Manjoo told a press conference she had “found levels of sexism that did not exist in other countries she had visited”.

She said: “The British media are responsible for negative and oversexualised portrayals of women with some websites and TV channels dealing in the marketisation of their bodies. “It is clear that there is a boys’ club sexist culture that exists, and it does lead to perceptions about women and girls in this country.” She added: “Have I seen this level of sexist culture in other countries? It hasn’t been so ‘in your face’ in other countries.”

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