Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Is no space safe? Working to end gender-based violence in the public sphere

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Caroline Harper, Rachel Marcus, Diana Jiménez Thomas Rodriguez, Emilie Tant

From our homes to the streets, from school to university, and from workplaces to social media, women and people from the LGBTQI+ community are at risk of daily violence.

This ALIGN briefing outlines the pervasiveness of gender-based violence (GBV) in the public sphere. Taken through the perspective of feminist movements and their activism to end GBV, the full extent of the problem comes clearly into view. A legitimate fear of violence for women and gender non-conforming people is a constant threat that limits mobility, physical autonomy, and opportunities for work, study and leisure.

This shocking reality is unrelenting and global in nature, leaving no country untouched. Even after centuries of women’s and feminist activism, patriarchal norms, attitudes and behaviours still imbue so many different spaces. This briefing makes visible the connections between gender norms and male violence, identifies where it is taking place and shows how to work together to end GBV in the public sphere.

While social movements and feminist activists work tirelessly to shift gender norms and bring about policy change, it is clear they cannot do it alone. There is much to be done at the state and individual level to share this burden.