The FINANCIAL — To strengthen gender equality and empower women, the state is implementing a unified and coordinated policy. This policy prioritizes the elimination of all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, also seeking to ensure women’s economic empowerment, women’s increased participation in decision-making, including supporting their employment in public service, and the empowerment of female public servants, also protection of women’s reproductive health and rights, elimination of malicious and discriminatory practices, ensuring access to education and lifelong professional development opportunities for women and girls, women’s enhanced engagement in the implementation of the peace and security agenda, and maintenance of gender-related statistics.
“In commenting on the recent cases of femicide, we unanimously declare that violence in any form is unacceptable to the state, and the state’s response to each such case will be severe! Recognizing protection from violence as the state’s duty, we urge women to contact law enforcements in case of violence, to use available hotlines (116006 and 112) and seek help,” Administration of the Government of Georgia wrote.
Earlier this year was reported that, large-scale campaign to combat violence against women in Georgia will be launched. The Ministries of Justice, Interior, Regional Development, Health, Education and the Prosecutor’s Office will be involved in the campaign. PM Giorgi Gakharia promised that the fight against violence will become more complex. “We have had eight women killed by family members in the last two months. This is a very critical situation. This is a problem that requires a complex approach and all the responsible agencies have an important role in this process. We need to take more active steps to combat this problem”, said the Prime Minister. Gakharia stated that the law has been tightened several times in recent years and gender-based crime is now considered an aggravating circumstance, though the problem requires coordinated action by all agencies, according to local news website agenda.ge
According to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, 135 murders of women were reported from 2014 to 2018, 64 of which were committed in a domestic context. During the same time frame, there were 69 attempted murders, 46 of which showed signs of domestic violence. The 2019 statistics, which cover a ten-month period, show that there were 16 murders of women reported, nine of which had signs of domestic offence. During the same period, 16 attempted murders of women were registered, with signs of domestic offence identified in 12 of the cases, UN Women Georgia wrote.
The state pays special attention to the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence, relevant response, and provision of services. The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia enforces a strict criminal law policy to combat violence against women and domestic violence and to protect victims. The Interior Ministry of Georgia ensures immediate response to crimes, improving the quality of investigation on a regular basis, and carrying out preventive measures. The State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking provides violence survivors with support and free services.
“To overcome the existing challenges on the path to ensuring gender equality, we continue working on public awareness, deeper institutional awareness within state institutions, on bettering national legislation, and cementing international principles, in order to ensure the presence of the principles of equality in the system of education, the empowerment of girls, and women’s enhanced economic, political, and social engagement,” Administration of the Government of Georgia stated.
The Interagency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence of the Human Rights Council was established by authority of the Georgian Government’s June 12, 2017 Decree #286. The Interagency Commission, which brings together 22 state institutions, is chaired by the Prime Minister’s Human Rights and Gender Equality Advisor and the Deputy Justice Minister of Georgia. The commission puts together the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, the State Fund for Protection and Assistance of (Statutory) Victims of Human Trafficking, the Civil Service Bureau, and the National Statistics Office.