Back National Dialogue on Sexual Harassment Prevention Mechanisms: A Reflection on Progress and a Call to Action

National Dialogue on Sexual Harassment Prevention Mechanisms: A Reflection on Progress and a Call to Action

Sexual harassment is a global problem, even more so perhaps in Georgia, where gender inequalities and gender stereotypes are deeply ingrained in the fabric of society. Georgia’s passage of national anti-sexual harassment legislation and the subsequent establishment of prevention mechanisms in both the public and private sectors have created an opportunity for a reflection on where Georgia stands in terms of implementation.

Implementation of Sexual Harassment Prevention Mechanisms was the key topic of the conference organised under the umbrella of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

Held on 29 November 2023, due to the combined effort of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, the USAID Rule of Law Program and UN Women, representatives of legislative and executive government, civil society, educational institutions, international organisations, human rights activists, gender-equality advocates and media, met to discuss the current state of sexual harassment prevention.

“Sexual harassment is not about sex, it is about power dominance of men over women”- said Natalia Voutova, Head of Council of Europe Office in Georgia.

In her welcome remarks Lisa Kovack, Acting Director, Office of Democracy, Rights and Governance, USAID/Georgia said, „The U.S. Government remains committed to working with our Georgian colleagues to promote gender equality and defeat domestic violence and sexual harassment. Various U.S. government agencies including USAID are helping to train social workers, police officers, prosecutors, judges and health workers – those at the frontline of this battle – to recognize and effectively respond to discrimination and domestic violence cases.” Tamar Sabedashvili, Deputy Representative of the UN Women highlighted, that “Institutional support for the introduction and implementation of prevention mechanisms to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace and any other space is important.”

In his speech, Levan Ioselian spoke about the mandate of the Public Defender as a mechanism to fight discrimination and the benefits of defining sexual harassment as a form of discrimination. He also noted that despite the positive dynamics of the development of legal guarantees and internal mechanisms, the fight against sexual harassment remains an important challenge.

The sessions, facilitated by theme-related experts from various state and non-state organisations, offered an opportunity to share insights into best practices, benefits, and challenges associated with implementing sexual harassment prevention measures in both workplaces and higher education institutions.

"The challenge lies in the absence of effective mechanisms within workplaces to address complaints of sexual harassment. Most of the employers believe that resolving such matters should be left solely to the affected individuals by applying court,” mentioned Baia Pataraia, executive director of Union Sapari.

The Conference contributed to a national-level dialogue by fostering the exchange of knowledge on successful prevention strategies and his expected to enhance collaboration among stakeholders.


The conference was organised in the framework of the Council of Europe Project “Promoting an Integrated Approach to End Violence against Women and Enhancing Gender Equality in Georgia"  and the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, funded by Sweden.

Tbilisi, Georgia 29 November 2023
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