(TBILISI)--Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili spoke out about the issue of violence against women in the country, calling the 22 women who were victims of feminicide “a very tragic number”.
Georgian President Speaks Out on Violence Against Women
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, November 27
Margvelashvili made the statement as part of the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In his speech, he said 10,000 cases of beatings or other forms of violence against women are reported in Georgia every year and urged Georgians to take the steps needed – including changing the public’s attitude towards domestic violence - to fundamentally tackle the issue of women being beaten or abused by the country’s men.
“It is imperative how we, citizens of Georgia, react to each case of violence against women...how we comment or react to each case,” said Margvelashvili, before adding that Georgia took an important step in the struggle by ratifying the Council of Europe’s Convention on domestic abuse.
The ruling Georgian Dream party claims that various steps have been taken to decrease the number of beatings and killings that target women, including tougher punishment for the perpetrators.
Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili state, however, that violence against women remains a major problem and the victims still “do not feel tangible support” from the public or law enforcement officials.
According to UN reports filed in 2015 and 2016, physical violence against women in Georgia remains “at devastatingly high levels”. The reports cited “public indifference” and a lack of support for the victims as contributing factors to the ongoing problem.
Georgia’s high rates of alcoholism and unemployment amongst the male population, as well as its traditional patriarchal society, were also found to be factors that contributed to violent and often deadly physical outbursts against women in the country, many of whom are the breadwinners for their families.