Última editado: July 11, 2019

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Women and girls fear and experience various types of sexual violence in public spaces, from unwanted sexual remarks and touching to rape and femicide. It is a universal issue. It happens on streets, in and around public transportation, schools and workplaces, water distribution sites, public toilets, and parks in urban, rural, and conflict/post- conflict settings. This reality reduces women’s and girls’ freedom of movement and their ability to study and work, access essential services, participate in public life, and enjoy recreation opportunities. This impacts negatively their health and well-being. In 1995, the Beijing Platform for Action distinguished ending violence against women as one of the 12 critical areas to achieve gender equality.

In 2013, the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women (CSW57) identified various forms of sexual violence against women and girls (SVAWG) in public spaces as a distinct area of concern, and called on governments to prevent it. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set “the elimination of all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres” (Target 5.2) and "make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" (Target 11)  as two of its specific goals.