Human Rights Center (HRC) joins Women's History Month i.e. a campaign by civil society activists and NGOs to increase the quality of protection of women's rights.
Over the years, the struggle of women for their rights has become the subject of special interest of the media and public discussions around the world. Despite progress in this direction, the severity of the problem remains global and requires a rapid response.
To combat gender-based violence against women and to ensure equal futures, people around the world are trying to mobilize. For a long time, this struggle went beyond just women fighting for their rights. Today, the protection of women's rights is an integral part of human rights. Thus, ensuring the equality must be likely an important and priority issue for every member of the society, as well as for every state in the world, in order to ensure gender equality through global efforts.
Despite the progress in Georgia in the recent years in terms of improving the legal status of women, achieving the gender equality and eliminating the violence against women remains one of the biggest challenges for Georgian society. There is a strong environment of stereotypes in the country where violence against women and domestic violence is often a justified action. Such stereotypes hinder the full scale identification of the offenses as the firmness of the stigma reduces the visibility of the offenses. Particularly problems stem from the legal status of women with disabilities, and the lives of LGBT + women and women from ethnic minorities. Further problems are as follows: early marriage of girls, education of girls, involvement of women in political life, women's economic activity and labor rights, women's participation in decision-making, violence against women and domestic violence, reproductive and sexual health and rights, murder of women (femicide), the possibility to change gender status in civil acts and challenges in the later regard, lack of services available to victims of domestic violence, legal status of women advocating for the rights, legal status of single parents and parents with many children, etc.
Since its foundation, HRC has acknowledged and recognized the importance of protecting women's rights and its role in ensuring human rights and establishing the rule of law. Establishing the "democratic public order" that the Constitution of Georgia thrives to achieve would be impossible without achieving gender equality. Over the years, HRC has been actively involved in various campaigns or advocacy processes, both within the country and abroad. During this time, with regard to protecting the rights of women, the work of HRC was directed towards the harmonization of the legal space with international standards, as well as to empower victims and provide them with legal protection (including free legal advice and aid to various agencies).
HRC has long collaborated with both local and international human rights organizations. Within various coalitions, the protection of women’s rights has always been and remains a matter of particular interest to HRC. In this regard, HRC has a solid experience in cooperating with government agencies as well as local and international organizations. HRC, in partnership with Sapari, is a co-applicant signing an application to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDOW).
Despite the efforts of civil society groups having resulted in making gender equality at least partially a matter of the political discourse, given the current socio-economic challenges and political tensions, addressing this issue is still not sufficiently prioritized. The suicide of 14-year-old Nino Tsetskhladze once again reminded the entire Georgian society that women around us are still victims of gender discrimination and violence, and that the efforts of the State to address this problem are insufficient.
Accordingly, HRC plans to further strengthen its work in the field of women's rights and is ready to cooperate with all stakeholders in the process of achieving the goal.