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Public Registry Employees Accuse Ex-Mayor Ugulava of Promoting Discrimination

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, April 6
506 employees of the Public Registry have addressed the Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, accusing ex-Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava of promoting gender discrimination.

The signatories protest against Ugulava’s Facebook post, in which he criticizes Public Registry employee women for taking a farewell photo with their former head, Papuna Ugrekhelidze, who quit his position amid sexual harassment accusations from several female employees.

Ugulava posted the photo, saying the “smirking women” in it were only a “decoration” and more “shameful” than their boss.

“This photo shows how harmful the introduction of women's quotas can be in the Parliament. Keeping the status quo, legalizing violence against women, female decoration - this is the title of this picture,” ex-mayor’s post reads.

The employees of the Public Registry claim Ugulava publicly insulted them by using words” shameful women”, “women decoration” and “smirking women.”

“Ugulava used a hate speech and his statement is discrimination on the grounds of sex and is aimed at infringing the honor and dignity of the people employed in the Public Registry, and harms the image of the agency itself. Distinguishing women by gender and the use of such humiliating, insulting words against them is a public encouragement to discrimination against women,” the address of the Public Registry employees reads.

The employees call on civil society, including NGOs “to give adequate assessment to insulting public statements against women employed in the Public Registry”.

Papuna Ugrekhelidze, the Chair of the National Agency of Public Registry under the Justice Ministry announced about his resignation on March 27, after his former employee accused him of sexual harassment.

Ugrekhelidze announced about his decision via Facebook, denying the charges.

He explained that he decided to resign in order not to allow some forces use this case as a “political tool.”