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Combating sexual harassment at workplace and public areas through legislative reforms, responsible business conduct and raising awareness in Kazakhstan

Implementation period: 01/10/2020-28/02/2022 (17 months)

Donor: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada (DFATD) through project funding Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

The project will be implemented in Kazakhstan, with its main activities being held in the online format and covering all of the country’s territory. The goal of the project is to advocate for legal prohibition of sexual harassment in the workplace and public areas and raise public awareness about prohibition, prevention and response to sexual harassment.

The main problems that this project aims to solve:

  1. Lack of legislative acts to effective combating harassment and other forms of sexual offenses and discrimination. The primary issue is that there is no domestic law in Kazakhstan that would prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace or in public areas (stalking).
  2. Undeveloped practice of bringing to responsibility for harassment in law enforcement and judicial authorities.
  3. Stigmatization and objectification of women in society entailing victimization. Unfortunately, in the mostly patriarchal society of Kazakhstan, people underestimate the negative impact of sexual harassment on the lives of the affected people and on the society as a whole. Sexual harassment is a discriminatory practice that targets predominantly women and young girls.
  4. Lack of corporate culture of gender equality, non-discrimination and anti-harassment in the business sector of Kazakhstan.

Main project activities include:

Activity 1: Development and promotion of the amendments to the national legislation, in compliance with international standards and recommendations on prohibition of sexual harassment.

– Online Conference on the issue of sexual harassment in Kazakhstan for 50 participants;

– Preparation of amendments and proposals to national legislation;

– Advocacy work with state bodies;

– Organizing One online public discourse to discuss the anti-harassment bill.

Activity 2: Formation of intolerance to sexual harassment and harassment in society.

– One online public petition;

– Promotion of the 10 Analytical articles and 2 long reads in Kazakh and Russian about anti-harassment law in Internet media and social media;

– Preparation of 2 Education video clips for media campaign.

Activity 3: Drafting & promotion of a Corporate Policy on non-discrimination, combating sexual harassment and Abuse of Authority in business environment.

– Drafting a Corporate Policy on nondiscrimination, combating Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority;

– Promotion of the policy through online/offline meetings with representatives from 10 companies and 5 universities in Kazakhstan.

The long-term expected results will include the following:

  1. Sexual harassment in the workplace and public areas will be prohibited under law;
  2. Number of reactions to harassment cases by corporate sector and governmental bodies will increase by 10%;
  3. Employers (10 companies and 5 universities) will adopt and implement internal policies on prevention and response to sexual harassment in the workplace developed by the project;
  4. Intolerance to any forms of harassment will be formed in society as one of the violations of human rights and Constructive dialogue on the elimination of discrimination against women would be built in the society.

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