UN’s Rashido Manjoo slams Britain's ‘boys’ club sexist culture’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2014, 9:54pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2014, 9:54pm


A UN investigator has warned 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 a large 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 said she had "found levels of sexism that did not exist in other countries".

"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 said.

Manjoo has visited Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester and London.

She complained that the government did not allow her to visit Yarl's Wood, the main centre holding women and families facing deportation from Britain.

The privately run centre has faced criticism over claims of women being held for a long time and pregnant detainees being held without justification.

A ministry official said a tour of Yarl's Wood "was never agreed as part of this mission".

She said: "Violence against women and girls in any form is unacceptable and the government has shown its commitment to ending it."