Special Reports

Assessment of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Girls from Nondominant Ethnic Groups in Georgia

The present report is the first attempt to study state of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls from non-dominant ethnic groups living in Georgia, to identify key issues and to develop relevant recommendations for government agencies.

The present research studies particularly the issues of contraception, maternal health and harmful practices and reaffirms the systemic challenges in this area and the urgent need to respond to them. The Public Defender of Georgia hopes that the state agencies will consider the important problematic issues identified because of the research and will ensure the implementation of the recommendations necessary to deal with the mentioned problematic issues given in the research.

Research has shown that a number of socio-cultural factors, predominantly gender norms and stigma associated with sexuality, often lead to violations of the right to sexual and reproductive health of women and girls from non-dominant ethnic groups. In addition to the above mentioned, research has revealed that a lack of information, which is more often found among women from a non-dominant ethnic group due to language barriers, also underlies a violation of the right to sexual and reproductive health. The scarcity of state sexual and reproductive health programs and services, along with lack of gender-sensitivity, non-inclusiveness, low-quality, and administrative problems in existing programs, also significantly prevent access of women from non-dominant ethnic groups to needed sexual and reproductive health services. Research has also shown that despite funding for antenatal services, a financial barrier for pregnant women is the environment in which, during complicated pregnancies, the state does not fund a number of nosologies. This, according to women from the non-dominant ethnic group, puts a heavy financial burden on them.

The publication was prepared by the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia, with the support of the United Nations Population Foundation (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office, in the frameworks of the UN joint program for Gender Equality, funded by Government of Sweden.

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