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Photo: David Khizanishvili

Georgia Needs Consistent Policy for Economic Empowerment of Women

Limited access to financial resources and the lack of consistent national policy are the main obstacles for women’s economic empowerment in Georgia, concludes the research unveiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Union Sapari on December 8, 2017.

The research examined the programmes and initiatives, undertaken in Georgia throughout last ten years, to promote women’s economic participation.

The study has been supported by UNDP and the Government of Sweden, and carried out by a Georgian non-governmental organization “Union Sapari”, under the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality.

The discussion about the research findings brought together representatives of government, local and international organizations, and women’s rights activists.

“While more than forty percent of women in Georgia are left out of the formal economy, those who are employed receive on average thirty four percent less pay than men. It’s easy to see there is vast untapped human potential to boost economic growth and trigger positive social change. The good news is Georgia already has a solid legal and institutional base to underpin equal economic rights of men and women. This study highlights what we need now – stronger collaboration across public institutions, civil society, and the private sector, with international support, to shape and implement a more vigorous national effort for women’s economic participation, bringing laws and policies to life. The National Action Plan on Gender Equality, currently being developed by the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, presents a great opportunity to carry this important discussion forward,” – Shombi Sharp, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia, said in his welcome remarks.

Baia Pataraia, Executive Director of Union Sapari, stressed the importance of the research as a foundation for further interventions.

“The purpose of this study is to serve as a base for shaping a state policy and to trigger a wide public discussion on women’s economic empowerment. It includes a range of recommendations on specific subjects that should be considered,” – Baia Pataraia said.

Irma Kavtaradze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia; Nino Tsilosani, MP, Member of the Gender Equality Council, and Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee of Parliament of Georgia, and Eric Salmgren von Schantz, Deputy Head of the Embassy of Sweden, addressed the participants of the event with welcome remarks.

The conclusions of the research “Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia: Analysis of Current Policies and

Initiatives” are based on the qualitative survey and in-depth interviews with representatives of the national institutions, private sector and international and local non-governmental organizations, as well as on the interviews with the specific programmes’ beneficiaries. The research includes recommendations for all involved parties, including national and international institutions and organisations, and the private sector.