Public Defender's Statement on International Day of Girl

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili congratulates all the girls living in Georgia on the International Day of the Girl and reiterates the need for the changes that should be implemented for the empowerment and development of girls. All activities aimed at eliminating gender inequality should be oriented to the protection of girls' rights.

International Day of the Girl has been celebrated by the United Nations on October 11 since 2012. The aim of the celebration of the day was to voice girls' needs, which had been invisible earlier. This year's main focus has been put on empowerment of girls.

Due to the social conditions and some cultural traditions of Georgia, one part of girls has very difficult barriers to overcome from an early age in order to enjoy equal development. Unfortunately, Georgia still faces the challenges of early marriage and early engagement. Although the registration of marriages under the age of 18 was banned by legislative amendments, it is necessary to improve legislative regulations in this direction. There should be legislative safeguards to help minor girls to participate in the social, economic and political life of the country on an equal basis.

Early marriage is closely related to the right to education. Unfortunately, there are cases when juveniles drop out of school, which further affects their economic freedom, and most importantly, increases the risk of domestic violence. It is critical to review curriculums in the field of education in terms of gender strengthening of girls and raising awareness of the girl’s rights, sexual and reproductive health. In addition, it is important to introduce special programs to increase the interest of female students in technical subjects in order to ensure their equal economic participation in the future.

The Public Defender urges the Government of Georgia to take effective steps to protect the rights of girls and achieve the goals set for gender equality.

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