Sexual harassment is one of the most widely spread form of sex discrimination, which may cause damage to the victim's physical and psychological health. Due to numerous factors, the victims are often avoiding to file the application when such harassment happens, that making it difficult to identify the problem and react adequately.
The International Society divides Sexual harassment in employment into two main categories: The so-called _ the service in exchange for service that is followed by wage increase, a promotion, or even the keeping of the job position depends on the consent of a victim to the offer with sexual nature. In the second case, harassment is expressed via creating a hostile work environment when the victims are created unwanted and intolerable working environment, which includes forms of harassment of sexual nature, for example, such as sexual, degrading comments, hints, spreading the material with sexual subtext. It is important to mention, that the main aim of this form of sexual harassment might not be ultimate expectation of getting service that has sexual character.
Sexual harassment can be expressed in physical (assault, unwanted touching, threats), verbal (comments about appearance, sexual comments, insults of the employee based on sex) or even non-verbal behavior (spreading material with sexual nature, gestures with sexual character, whistling).
Georgia has very little, or almost no reports on sexual harassment cases, although according to the international practice the lack of official data about the sexual harassment cases does not meant that there is no problem. On the contrary, it means that the problem is due to various factors is faded away and its detection is complicated, for example: the victim is afraid of losing a job, is embarrassed of family or society, is not having effective legal safeguards, and so forth.
According to the survey conducted by the Center for Social Sciences 'Gender Discrimination in the Georgian Labor Market’, only 3 % of the interviewed employed persons confirmed that they have been the victim of sexual harassment at least once at workplace. 2% mentioned that they have been victim of sexual harassment during last 12 months. Despite these facts, after asking questions about specific elements of sexual harassment number of the victims rose vividly and much more cases revealed. Particularly, 38 % women respondents experienced this unpleasant occasion and were victim of this type of harassment in employment. In case of men this number is 8%. Since the majority find it difficult to answer this question honestly, this data can be used only to prove existence of the problem, it underlines the need to address this issue more in-depth analysis.
The study has revealed another interesting trend, in particular, it was found that employed women are more easily able to answer the questions about cases of the alleged sexual harassment, rather than men. The latter often find it difficult to imagine situation like this and they hardly realize that they can be victims of these kinds of actions. This result underlines the fact that women are more vulnerable in the cases of sexual harassment. However, this fact does not mean that male employees are protected from discrimination based on sex. It is important to mention, that according to the result of the study none of the victim applied to either the police or a psychologist.
It is utmost important to speak about the issue openly and creation an effective instrument on legislative level, that guarantees possibility for all the alleged sexual harassment victim with possibility of effective protection mechanism, and opportunity to deal with the issue independently.