Sexual Harassment beyond Legal Regulation in Georgia

30 Mar, 2018
Read the full version

This policy brief covers a period of January-November, 2017
Authors: Baia Pataraia on behalf of the union “Sapari”. Peer review by Dr. Tobias Schumacher


The EU-Georgia Association Agenda for 2014-2016 provides a list of priorities for joint work and has a
subsection on equal treatment. Achieving gender equality and equal treatment between men and women
requires the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, including sexual harassment.
This policy memo focuses on the need of regulation of sexual harassment as a form of gender-based
discrimination. Sexual harassment is acknowledged as a prevalent problem both within the labor market
and in the public space. As defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “It is
unlawful to harass a person because of that person’s sex.“ Sexual harassment has been defined as a form of
discrimination based on sex under various EU Council Directives. Georgia undertook an obligation to meet
the requirements of these directives and adopt the regulations regarding sexual harassment. However,
Georgia has currently no regulations on sexual harassment, thus this policy memo aims to demonstrate
the urgent need of legislative changes.

The Georgian government has taken some actions to address gender equality in general; some of the
ministries have gender equality action plans, others have gender advisers to the Ministers; also, the
interdepartmental Gender Equality Commission was established, and gender focal points were appointed.
The system of gender focal points was introduced in administrative and local bodies of Georgia to coordinate
the implementation of the National Action Plans. The Parliament boasts a Gender Equality Council and the
respective action plan, but so far the issue of sexual harassment has been ignored by state institutions.