A round table on the topic was held in the capital: “Harassment in the Workplace”, organized by the Coalition for the Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Gender Equality in Kazakhstan with the support of the National Commission on Women’s Affairs and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Women and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Elena Tarasenko noted that the International Day against Violence against Women is celebrated on November 25 and 16 days of active actions against violence against women begin on this day, which will last until December 10, when the International Day of Law will be celebrated.

“Today we are talking about the inadmissibility of harassment in the workplace against women and men. Many studies have been conducted in recent years and most respondents answer that this problem remains relevant. Today, it is necessary to improve legislation – the Labor Code, the Criminal Code, therefore, it is necessary to unite the efforts of all structures in order not only to actualize the problem, but also to take the necessary actions to get a result. We believe that the time has come when it is necessary to revise the legislative norms,” Elena Tarasenko said.

Linara Saktaganova, Secretary of the FTURK Commission on Working Women’s Affairs, informed the participants about the measures taken by the Federation of Trade Unions to strengthen the position and empower women.

She noted the relevance of Kazakhstan’s ratification of ILO Convention No.190 “On the Elimination of Violence and Harassment at Work”.

“The analysis of the situation in labor collectives shows that one of the urgent issues today is the problem of discrimination and violence against women in the workplace. The Federation of Trade Unions appealed to the Government, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population with a request to consider the possibility of ratifying ILO Convention No. 190. The issues of ratification of Convention No.190 are on the agenda of the social partners today and are reflected in the General Agreement. This Convention is a landmark document confirming that everyone has the right to work free from violence and harassment,” Linara Saktaganova stressed.

She also said that as a sign of solidarity with the international movement within the framework of the Action “16 Days against violence against women”, the Federation of Trade Unions and its member organizations are holding events, flash mobs and discussion sessions on the problems of violence against women.

The head of the working group on gender violence of the Coalition for the Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Gender Equality in Kazakhstan, Rosa Bekisheva, added that today there are no necessary norms in the law to bring to justice those people who harass.

“When women started coming to us with complaints about harassment in the workplace, we started reviewing the laws, it turned out that there were no specific norms. There are such facts of harassment in Kazakhstan, but there are no statistics. Now there is a working group in the Coalition of Women Entrepreneurs. We are working to introduce specific norms into the legislation so that those who harass will be punished. There are times when men also turn. We don’t have any norms at all, so we’re starting to work on it. We have prepared good recommendations with justification to include norms in the administrative Code, labor Code, criminal Code, as well as in the law on trade unions. Starting from fines and up to criminal liability,” Bekisheva explained.

According to the head of the division for the protection of women from Violence of the Astana Police Department Gulmira Shrakhmetova, reports of such facts as harassment are received not on the 102 channel, but on helplines and personal numbers of employees for the protection of women’s rights. Every year, zero tolerance for such facts increases. She clarified that in case of appeal, the police accompany the victim, provide psychological and legal assistance, conduct joint work with psychologists in educational institutions.


Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan