Last year more than 100,000 women were convicted of the heinous crime of using a television receiver without a licence.
Almost 70 percent of TV licence evasion cases considered by Magistrates' Courts involved female defendants, according to figures uncovered by The Times (subscription).
They were convicted of a victimless crime, when at the same time thousands of drunks and drug users escaped prosecution by receiving a verbal reprimand or £80 fixed penalty.
Horrific as these statistics are, the fact that TV Licensing is more likely to target women is hardly earth-shattering news. TV Licensing rules are such that they will happily prosecute whichever adult answers the door of a property where licence fee evasion is taking place. During the daytime, when most TV Licensing enquiries occur, that person is more likely to be a woman.
Under current legislation a TV licence is needed for all properties where equipment is installed or used to receive "as broadcast" TV programmes. Although the TV licence is used exclusively to fund the broadcasting of the BBC, a TV licence is required regardless of the TV channel a person chooses to watch.
The 65 year old system of TV licensing harks back to different era, when the BBC was the only broadcaster in the UK. Today, with literally hundreds of non-BBC TV services adorning the airwaves, it is a perverse anomaly that TV viewers are still forced to pay for a service they might not want or use.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, an active campaigner for the decriminalisation of TV licence evasion, told The Times: "Sixty-nine per cent of the convictions are female, just because they happen to be at home when the licence fee inspector calls.
"The licence fee is an anachronism, it discriminates against the poorest in society."