Online Conference on Gender Policy of Local Self-Government Bodies
The Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, assessed the gender policy of local self-government bodies at the online conference on May 28, 2020, and presented a special report drawn up by the Office, which focuses on the opportunities for women's economic empowerment. The event was moderated by Deputy Public Defender Ekaterine Skhiladze.
As part of the UN Women project"AJointAction forWomen's Economic Empowerment” and with the support of the Norwegian government, the Public Defender’s Office studied the gender equality situation and the needs of women in the regions. As a result of holding 85 meetings with 800 people in 7 regions of the country, challenges and achievements attained at the local level have been identified. Recommendations have also been developed for strengthening and improving the gender policies of local self-governments and promoting women's economic empowerment.
"COVID-19 has an additional impact on gender-based violence, women's health, education, employment, income and livelihoods. Local self-government bodies have a crucial role in improving women's rights especially today, as the economic, social or political rights of women living in the regions depend on them.
The mentioned study identified the efforts of self-governing bodies for achieving gender equality and the activities that remain beyond the attention of the municipalities.
In particular, 57 out of 64 municipalities of Georgia have local self-government action plans for gender equality.
Unfortunately, in most cases (61%), Gender Equality Councils do not have the appropriate budget for the implementation of action plans. However, there have been some cases when Councils were funded from the local budget.
I believe that our findings and recommendations will help to clearly define the gender policy of self-governing bodies, which will have a positive impact on the needs of the local population in the future and will further strengthen the sustainability of institutional mechanisms in terms of gender equality,"- said the Public Defender.
Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, and Helene Sand Andresen, Ambassador of Norway to Georgia, delivered welcome speeches at the conference.
Ana Lobzhanidze, an employee of the Gender Department of the Public Defender's Office, presented an assessment of local self-governments’ gender policy.