“We heard from a large number of women, from the police and other agencies as well as researchers, who told us that sexual harassment in public places pervades the lives of women and girls, whether it is cat-calling in the street, upskirting on public transport, misogynistic abuse online or sexual assault in pubs and clubs or at university.
Yet, it is so everyday and routine that it is often invisible to those who don’t experience it.
I am therefore delighted that the Government has accepted our key recommendation that this should be robustly tackled through its cross-government violence against women and girls strategy.
The Committee made a series of practical recommendations on issues such as data collection, women’s safety on public transport, and media regulation.
We are pleased that the Government has responded positively to many of these.
However, this is just the start of the journey and Government departments, public bodies and local authorities now need to sit down with women’s groups and other experts and develop a comprehensive programme of work to make public places safe for all women and girls
The Committee also welcomes the Government’s recognition of racialised sexual harassment of black and ethnic minority women and girls, and of the ways in which sexual harassment intersects with other inequalities.
However, the Committee is concerned that the Government does not yet have a comprehensive programme of work in place for preventing and addressing the problem; the Committee’s view is that in practice the policy shift has not yet fully translated to the actions needed to tackle this comprehensively.”
The Committee’s key findings are summarised below.
In its response the Government fully accepts recommendations on:
The Government accepts in principle or partially accepts the Committee’s recommendations on: