Special Report of Public Defender of Georgia on Situation of Women's Rights and Gender Equality

On May 29, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia presented special reports on the Situation of Women's Rights and Gender Equality, and Mechanisms against Domestic Violence to the Government of Georgia, diplomatic corps, international organizations, NGOs, representatives of the academies circle and the media.

The special report on the Situation of Women's Rights and Gender Equality is part of the Public Defender's parliamentary report 2016, which highlights the importance of gender equality for economic well-being and development of an inclusive, representative political system.

It should be noted that, unlike 2015, the main problem during preparation of the report was timely and full provision of the requested statistical information, which is a step backward in terms of cooperation in the fight against gender violence and indicates that there are systemic shortcomings in terms of collection and making analysis of information in a number of institutions.

During the reporting period, identification of the practice of female genital mutilation, which had been a secret problem for many years, was alarming. The mentioned issues require a coordinated, consistent and needs-based response from the state.

It is welcoming that in early 2017, the Government of Georgia considered the recommendation of the Public Defender of Georgia to ratify the Council of Europe Conventiononpreventing andcombating violence against women and domestic violence, which will provide a number of substantial guarantees for the prevention of violence, and protection and assistance of victims. However, no effective steps were taken in 2016 to improve the legislation for the purpose of protecting women's rights and gender equality.

In the reporting period, as in previous years, special attention was paid to the issue of women's political participation. Unfortunately, women's participation in the 9th Parliament is still very low as a result of spontaneous and unplanned growth.

The Public Defender’s Office also assessed the number of employees at the executive level and made gender analysis of the data, which showed that the number of employees is almost equal from the point of view of gender, but low representation of women on the decision-making positions is alarming.

The report also reviews the situation of the rights of LGBT persons. The Public Defender emphasizes the formal nature of the steps taken in this direction, as the legislative norms do not actually protect victims of systemic violence, harassment, persecution and intolerance.

The mechanisms for the protection of women from violence were evaluated by the Public Defender on the basis of the analysis of the court decisions on restraining and protective orders and monitoring of five shelters in Georgia.

The Public Defender emphasizes in the special report that in light of the increasing number of cases of violence against women and domestic violence, it is especially important the state to take efforts in order to ensure that victims are provided effective services and are protected from the repeated violence.

The study of the cases show that the existing services need to be improved in terms of socio-economic empowerment of victims, promotion of independent living and employment, which cannot be achieved only by the services of the shelter. Timely and effective monitoring of restraining and protective orders is still a problem.

See the special report on on Situation of Women's Rights and Gender Equality


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