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16 days against Gender based Violence

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, November 29
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supported by the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Gender Equality opened the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence at Sheraton Metechi Palace on November 25. Georgia is one of the 160 countries where the regular 16-days of international activism take place every year. The idea is to raise awareness of violence against women during these 16 days of campaign through various public events and dialogue among the people encouraging the women’s rights. Lela Bakradze, Assistant Representative of the UNFPA Georgia Office presented a publication on gender-based violence in Georgia which remains a serious problem in society.

The international community of the UN finds this campaign globally important. The idea of making women part of world society and making them publicly active will now be encouraged by a new UN Women’s campaign – a new body aimed at strengthening gender equality. “Today the various stakeholders: Government, civil society and women in general give us a chance to explain the issues, encourage them and energize the campaign. Wearing the white ribbon is the symbol of awareness of the issue and we cannot tolerate to the situation where women are treated differently from other people,” Jamie McGoldrick, Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia told The Messenger.

Rusudan Kervalishvili, Chair of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Gender Equality and Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia thanked the UN for the progress through various programmes aimed at raising the public awareness on gender-based violence in Georgia. Expressing her special respect for men engaged in the campaign, Kervalishvili thanked them for their support on behalf of society. “Let us be the champions of human rights and defeat violence altogether!” she said emphasizing that the legislative body is also encouraging the UN in achieving the defined goals with its whole team.

The media has an important role in fighting for women’s rights and it also has the greatest influence on the development of the public mind and raising awareness. UNFPA announced the winners of the annual media competition for the best article and footage of gender-based violence. Natia Guliashvili, from Liberali Magazine was awarded 1st prize for her article and received the title of the most active woman journalist on gender-based issues of the year.