Why and how we began?
During the advocacy processes for criminalizing the sexual harassment and making efforts to convince the relevant decision-making authorities, WCLRF found out that most of those authorities did not believe in the existence of sexual harassment in a very large scale in order to be criminalized. Meanwhile, they believed that due to ruling the conservative traditional culture structures, or social sensitivity against sexual harassment as an established doctrine, it is not worth to speak up about or to criminalize it. The research findings on the other hand stated that no case correlated with sexual harassment has been filed into judicial organizations or any perpetrator thanks to sexual harassment has been subject to trial. Therefore, WCLRF made efforts to document sexual harassment cases and highlight those primitive actions in order to gain the public’s credence, especially the local influential, religious actors, and decision-making authorities. Although WCLRF conducted many researches regarding this disgraceful phenomenon and shared the findings with decision-making authorities, the Harassmap website was created aiming to document the victims or bystanders’ experience and enable them to share their stories regardless to any bad consequences.
- Document sexual harassment cases;
- Convince the decision-making authorities along with local influential, religious actors and etc. referring to the findings of this website;
- Enable the victims or bystanders to file a report through Harassmap and /or Police investigation offices;
- Guide and provide consultancy for sexual harassment victims;
- Guide and provide legal aid services and advocacy for sexual harassment victims.
Meaningful efforts have been initiated and carried out by WCLRF since 2014 aiming to criminalize sexual harassment and then to put these legislations in action. WCLRF succeeded to establish a committee of women’s rights activists named “Improved Coordination against Sexual Harassment” and eventually persuaded the National Unity Government to enact and then reinforce the anti-sexual harassment against women and girls in Afghanistan.
It is expected that the Harassmap website provides a reliable ground for those of who have experienced or witnessed the sexual harassment cases to record their stories and to provide technical and legal supports to defend and reduce sexual harassment in the workplace, educational environment and etc.