Sadiq Khan has called for misogyny to be made a hate crime in the wake of horrific murders of women on the capital’s streets and parks.
The London Mayor described violence against women and girls as an “epidemic” and called on men to be “allies” in an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday.
It comes following the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa, 28, who was attacked taking a five-minute shortcut to a pub on the same £1billion housing development where she lived in Kidbrooke Village, south-east London on Friday.
Appearing on GMB, Mr Khan said misogyny should be made a hate crime, and harassment in a public space against women should be a criminal offence.
Mr Khan said: “Between last year’s International Women’s Day and this year’s International Women’s Day, 180 women were killed at the hands of men across the country.
“We do have an epidemic when it comes to violence against women and girls we need a whole system approach.
“We need to make sure at a young age boys are taught to respect girls they are taught about healthy relationships.
“Girls at a young age are changing the way they dress on the way to school because of the way they are treated by boys.
“I think we need to make misogyny a hate crime. I think harassment in the public space against women should be a criminal offence.
“I think we need to give this issue the same seriousness we give other issues.”
The Mayor addressed host Ben Sheppard, adding: “The reality is Ben you and I have not had the lived experience as Kate [co-host Kate Garraway] my wife, my daughter and others have.
“About the fact them just going about their normal way of life they are harrassed treated in a different way simply by virtue of their sex and gender.
“I think us men have got to be allies in addressing this issue.”
Our Streets Now, which seeks an end to public sexual harassment, said Ms Nessa joins a growing list of women murdered in London’s public spaces in recent months.
In a statement on Wednesday, the campaign group said: “It’s why we don’t walk where we want, when we want.
“It’s why we tense at the sound of a car pulling up, or of a man crossing the street towards us.
“It’s why 1 in 5 girls have avoided their place of education.
“Please, stop telling us we’re overreacting.
“Male violence is killing us. It’s restricting our right to be free and equal citizens.
“We need change, now.”
A vigil has been organised in the Kidbrooke community in memory of Ms Nessa on Friday by The Depot pub. St James’ Church Kidbrooke will open its doors the same day to offer prayer to those affected by the murder.
Anyone with information or any witnesses are being asked to call police on 101, reference 5747/18. To remain anonymous please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.