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Where Does Gender Equality Begin?

Author of the given Essay is the student of Georgian National University Tamar Chkhaidze. The Essay was prepared specifically for the contest on “Sustainable Development Goals and Georgia” organized by IDFI in cooperation with UNDP Georgia and with the financial support from the Government of Sweden.

I was lucky, because I was brought up in a family where gender equality was fully ensured. My parents treated each other with respect, which positively influenced our upbringing. The respect of my father towards my mother was mainly due to her character. My mother is an ideal example of a strong woman. Our grandfather always told us that my mother was a fighter since childhood, never gave up and did not allow her brothers to take advantage of her, although she encountered many problems. A scar on her forehead is a proof of how she helped a younger friend in school. Now she recalls it with a laugh; however, then she was scolded by her parents. She was a good student in both technical and humanitarian subjects. When the time came to choose a profession, her parents demanded she go into medicine, since every generation in her family had someone with a medical degree.

It is hard to imagine, how in the 90’s, a girl from the countryside went against her family, disregarded their financial support and got admitted to the faculty of law.  As soon as she received her first stipend, she sent money back home. My grandmother visited her in the dorm with sweets. Soon, my mother met a colleague, who would become her husband. Mother always worked hard, because she loved her job and cared about her family as well. Despite a busy work schedule, my sister and I never felt abandoned, we always knew that for her the family was most important. Till today, she is a successful lawyer and a mother. Moreover, she is a brilliant wife and a proud daughter.  She taught me to never be complacent, to be right with yourself, and never treat others unfairly. I think my mother would have been a fantastic person and would have significantly contributed to my development into a decent person, except for one fact – she was never born.

According to official statistics, Georgia is one of the leaders in gender selective abortions. In 2010, the right to life was taken from 25,000 girls. The 2015 United Nations Population Fund study found that for every 100 newborn girls there are 110 newborn boys. Often, while discussing gender inequality, the issue of education, social integration, and violation of other rights of women are mentioned. However, many of us omit one important fact: unborn baby girls, who do not know what ideas and stereotypes are in the world, are stripped from the right to life! Each of us, regardless of gender, should think how many good children and future mothers, and happiness has been lost; what the result will be if this continuous… (?!) To solve this problem, we must first recognize the tragic reality we live in.