Britain to scrutinise sexual harassment of women in public places

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: A committee of British lawmakers is launching an inquiry into the sexual harassment of women and girls in public places such as streets, public transport, shops, bars and clubs.

The Women and Equalities Committee will examine what more can be done to combat unwanted sexual attention in public spaces other than the workplace, it said.

"We are putting a spotlight on a problem that seems to be so routine in women's lives, and yet has received very little attention in public policy," said committee chair Maria Miller.

A 2016 national survey published by YouGov found that 85 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 had experienced unwanted sexual attention in public places while 45 per cent had experienced unwanted sexual touching.

The inquiry follows the emergence of widespread allegations globally about sexual assault and harassment.

Britain's parliament was among the institutions to become embroiled in a sex scandal.

Prime Minister Theresa May and other party leaders have agreed to introduce new safeguards for those working in parliament to try to contain a growing sexual harassment scandal there.

The committee said it would not be scrutinising Westminster, as a separate parliamentary group is looking into those issues.