The Georgian security sector expands efforts on sexual harassment prevention and response
Sexual harassment is a common challenge within the Georgian public service. According to one 2021 survey, 34% of civil servants have experienced sexual harassment while working in the public sector.
To address this problem, UN Women, in cooperation with the Civil Service Bureau, has been actively working to introduce sexual harassment prevention and response mechanisms across various state agencies. Accordingly, certain results have already been achieved; for instance sexual harassment prevention and response mechanisms are now operational in 11 different public institutions.
Notably, some parts of the security sector have also recently taken initial steps in this direction. On 11-12 June, UN Women, with the Office of the National Security Council of Georgia, the State Security Service of Georgia and the Georgian Intelligence Service, conducted its first staff training on sexual harassment prevention and response mechanisms.
This training on response mechanisms and the prevention of sexual harassment and was aimed at strengthening the capacity of these institutions, as well as identifying the necessary priority steps towards this goal. Over the course of two days, 15 participants from security institutions gained substantive knowledge on issues related to the notion of sexual harassment, its forms and prevalence, legislation and the national mechanisms in place, and they moreover discussed opportunities for establishing an internal sexual harassment prevention and response mechanism within their own institutions.
“It is important that at the end of the training, the representatives of the participating agencies developed models of sexual harassment prevention and response mechanisms that were tailored to their institutions, and which properly reflected all the principles and components that the trainers focused on. We hope that such cooperation with these agencies to introduce sexual harassment prevention and response mechanisms and to raise staff awareness will also continue into the future” – identified Goga Khatiashvili, local expert and trainer for UN Women.
This training is part of the UN Women “Accelerating Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Georgia” project, and supported by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund of the UK Government.