A new study says that physical, sexual and psychological violence against female parliamentarians is posing a threat to democracy and gender equality. Of the 55 female MP’s in 39 countries interviewed for this study, conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), 40 percent said they had received violent threats against themselves or their children while serving their terms. About 80 percent claimed to have been victims of “psychological violence,” while more than one in five said they had been subjected to sexual violence. Though the study uses a very small sample, IPU director Martin Chungong says it shows the problem is more “widespread and underreported” than people realize. “Parliaments need to put their own house in order if they want to lead by example and stop discrimination and violence against women in all walks of life,” said Chungong. “The effectiveness of parliaments, progress toward equality between men and women, and the vitality of democracy itself all depend on it … The parliamentary community must speak out against sexism and harassment, and make clear that it cannot be tolerated as the price to be paid for women’s political involvement.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.