Sexual harassment of women and girls in public places

Scope of the inquiry

Following the emergence of widespread allegations in the UK and US about sexual assault and harassment across a wide range of sectors, the Committee held a one off evidence session on women's experiences of everyday sexism in December 2017, which led to a more broad inquiry into sexual harassment in public spaces.

Sexual harassment has different definitions but in the Equality Act 2010 it is defined as "unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment".

The Committee is not focusing on workplaces in this inquiry, although it understands that there are connections between the experiences of women and girls in different areas of life. However, a one off evidence session on sexual harassment in the workplace was held on 31st January 2018. The Committee is interested in how age, ethnicity, sexuality and other characteristics affect women's experiences.

The Committee recognises that anyone can be a perpetrator or victim of sexual harassment. In this inquiry, however, the focus is on sexual harassment of women and girls and its connections to gender inequality. We are also interested in how age, ethnicity, sexuality and other characteristics affect women's experiences. 

 

Oral evidence: Women's experiences of everyday sexism and sexual harassment 

Committee inquiry

6th December 2017

Scope of the inquiry
The Women and Equalities Committee is to consider the issue of sexism and sexual harassment faced by women, including why it happens, what the impact is and how to prevent it.

The Committee will want to understand: 

  • The evidence about women's experiences of a sexist culture and sexual harassment
  • The causes of sexual harassment and how it links to a sexist culture
  • The legal and policy framework for tackling it
  • How to prevent sexual harassment from happening.

To watch the evidence session in full please click here

The full transcript of the session can be found here