The FINANCIAL — With support from the European Union, the two UN sister agencies will work with government bodies and civil society partners in six countries, including Georgia, to challenge deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, increase men’s involvement in domestic work and childcare, and engage with potential perpetrators to prevent gender-based violence. The programme aims at achieving real behavioural change. It relies on strategies designed to challenge structural gender barriers.
UN Women and UNFPA, together with the European Union (EU), have launched a three-year regional programme to tackle gender stereotypes and gender-based violence in six countries of the Eastern Partnership: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
The programme, entitled “EU 4 Gender Equality: Together Against Gender Stereotypes and Gender-Based Violence,” ultimately seeks to strengthen equal rights and opportunities for women and men by challenging perceptions about men’s and women’s roles in the family and in society and working to eliminate gender-based violence.
The programme has a budget of €7,875,000 and is anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework, launched by the United Nations in 2015, and the EU Action Plan 2016-2020 on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women Through EU External Relations. It provides a unique opportunity for the EU and the six participating countries to affect social discourse, perceptions, and practices related to gender equality with the ultimate goal of achieving gender equality and related SDGs.
A first of its kind, the programme has been informed by an in-depth situation analysis and intergovernmental consultations with the six countries. It is designed to engage a wide range of government bodies, civil society organizations, and individuals.
“This is our first regional programme covering gender equality in the Eastern Partnership region and we are intensely proud of it,” said Lawrence Meredith, Director for Neighbourhood East in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission. “We can and we will do more to develop this underused economic and social potential with our Eastern neighbours. As we emerge from the pandemic, we will propose that the future Eastern Partnership be more inclusive.”
The programme aims at achieving real behavioural change. It relies on strategies designed to challenge structural gender barriers and norms, with particular emphasis on transforming gender-stereotyped behaviour, strengthening men’s involvement in parenting and domestic responsibilities, increasing men’s access to parental leave, and reducing the number of people affected by gender-based violence through prevention interventions with potential perpetrators.
To strengthen gender equality and empower women, Georgia is implementing a unified and coordinated policy. Earlier this year was reported that, large-scale campaign to combat violence against women in Georgia will be launched.
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.
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.
Earlier this month, The Parliament of Georgia adopted draft law on “Violence against Women and/or Prevention of Domestic Violence, Protection and Assistance to the Victims of Violence” and other subsequent amendments in the third reading, elaborated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The U.S. Embassy salutes country’s steps towards overcoming any kind of violence.