Government taking action to develop sexual harassment complaint mechanisms

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2020

UN Women in partnership with the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence Issues conducted a workshop dedicated to setting up sexual harassment complaints mechanisms. Photo: UN Women
UN Women in partnership with the inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence Issues conducted a workshop dedicated to setting up sexual harassment complaints mechanisms. Photo: UN Women

In 2019 the Parliament of Georgia adopted landmark legislation for the prevention and response to sexual harassment. Building on this momentum, UN Women is supporting the Government of Georgia to launch complaints’ mechanisms on sexual harassment in public sector organizations.

On September 7-8, 2020, UN Women in partnership with the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence Issues conducted a workshop dedicated to setting up sexual harassment complaints mechanisms in different public sector organizations. The workshop brought together up to 35 civil servants from 13 state entities to discuss the initiative and develop bespoke strategies for each organization where the sexual harassment complaints mechanisms will be piloted. Having such a complaints’ mechanism in place is very important first step for gender mainstreaming in state entities and allows for effective implementation of Georgia’s legislative framework in the area of combatting sexual harassment.

Official statement of the Administration of the Government of Georgia reads: “one year after the enactment of the sexual harassment law, the Government of Georgia plans to introduce internal organizational response mechanisms to sexual harassment in civil service.” The effort is spearheaded by the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence and is aligned with the national legislation and the internationally established best practices in the area.

“The workshop was very productive and allowed us to learn more around international standards and best practices on the response to sexual harassment in the workplace. We are pleased to be one of the first agencies to launch the prevention and response mechanism in Georgia,” - remarked Ekaterine Markhvashvili, representative of the LEPL Office of Resource Officers of Educational Institutions.

Taking actions against sexual harassment responds directly to the commitments undertaken by the Government of Georgia under the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention, which, among other obligations, places the responsibility on the strengthening measures to end all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment.

The initiative is taking place within the framework of the project “Good Governance for Gender Equality in Georgia”, generously supported by the Government of Norway.