UN Women convenes the Task Force on Ending Violence against Women and Girls


UN Women held the third meeting of the Task Force on Ending Violence against Women and Girls.

Communication material on sexual harassment distributed to the meeting participants
Communication material on sexual harassment distributed to the meeting participants; Photo: UN Women

The Task Force members discussed the draft amendments aimed at enhancing legislation related to violence against women and girls and domestic violence (VAWG/DV). Draft amendments on regulations against sexual harassment developed by the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia were presented at the meeting. “We are currently planning the launch of a broad participatory consultation process on the amendments introducing the concepts of sexual harassment in the workplace and in public spaces,” remarked Anna Tsurtsumia, Coordinator of the Gender Equality Council.

The representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs presented the draft legislative amendments in light of the increased statistics on VAWG/DV. Particularly, sanctions for domestic violence will become tougher; committing certain crimes on the basis of gender motive will be considered as an aggravating circumstance; sanctions will become tougher for repeated perpetration of family crimes; and criminal liability will be imposed for violating conditions set out by restraining or protection orders instead of the current administrative sanctions.

The Task Force further discussed the draft legislative amendments prepared with the support of UN Women. The package is mainly aimed at the introduction of a GPS ankle bracelet monitoring system for VAWG/DV perpetrators; behaviour correction programmes for perpetrators; the issuance of restraining orders based on the risk assessment instrument; expanded terms for restraining and protection orders; and amendments to the relevant terminology.

Within the framework of the meeting, the Task Force also discussed the events planned for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

“At a time when #MeToo, #TimesUp and other waves have risen in many parts of the world, the time is now to galvanize efforts in Georgia primarily through regulations against sexual harassment, while at the same time bearing in mind the importance of work directed at awareness-raising as [sexual harassment] can never be substantially uprooted unless attitudes and perceptions change,” noted Tamar Sabedashvili, UN Women Deputy Country Representative in Georgia.

The Task Force is facilitated by UN Women and co-chaired by the Assistant to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Human Rights and Gender Equality Issues. The Task Force comprises representatives from government, the donor community and civil society organizations and aims to support the Government of Georgia in meeting its obligations at the international, regional and local levels around preventing and combating VAWG.