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Media says no to gender-based violence

By Lia Bezhanishvili
Thursday, July 22
A roundtable on institutionalising gender-sensitive reporting within the media was held on the joint initiative of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence and UNFPA at the hotel Courtyard Marriott Tbilisi on July 21. Leading media experts, members of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees and the National Communications Commission, representatives of the TV and radio channels, journalists and editors and representatives of NGOs and civil society were invited to participate.

The issue was being discussed in order to strengthen the capacity of journalists, raise their awareness of issues of gender equality, domestic violence and womens' rights and promote a new approach to the media portrayal of men and women in public life in Georgia.

“Each eleventh married woman is the victim of physical violence, but 78.3 percent of women consider that domestic violence problems should only be discussed within the family and not publicly. Educational issues are directly connected with the violation of womens' rights, as the lower the level of education in women, the higher the number of violations. A very important problem is that Georgian women are unwilling to talk about violations within the family, which is why the exact number of violations remains unknown,” said Chair of the Inter-Agency Council on Domestic Violence Lali Papiashvili.

Media expert Nino Danelia said that, “Women’s participation in the public life is significantly limited, especially in decision making bodies. Female representation in the Georgian Parliament is also limited, as there are 150 MPs and only 9 are women. There are 18 Ministers and only 2 are women,” Danelia said.

The main aim of this meeting was to eliminate gender and domestic violence and empower women through passing protective laws, raising public awareness, developing policies and plans, and establishing support service mechanisms to prevent and respond to acts of gender-based violence and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of efforts aiming at addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Georgia. Participants of the meeting mentioned that special policies to ensure the growth of women’s role in different public and social institutions should be adopted. Some information centres should also be created where women will be able to obtain more information on their legal rights.