Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Why Georgian women need rights instead of flowers

[Note: This post was written by Natia Mestvirishvili, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at CRRC-Georgia and a Researcher at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The post was co-published in English with Eurasianet and in Georgian with Liberali.]

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th. In Georgia many women receive flowers on this day. Instead, some are asking for protection of their rights.

This data highlights the situation of and attitudes towards women in Georgia, based on official statistics and public opinion research:

Gender based violence starts in Georgia even before a girl is born: 
If and when she is born, she grows up in a society where:
  • 22% consider a university degree to be more important for a boy than for a girl;
  • 57% believe that it is not acceptable for a woman of any age to drink hard alcohol such as vodka or brandy;
  • 81% think that it is not acceptable for a woman of any age to smoke tobacco;
  • 56% think that it is not acceptable for a woman of any age to live apart from their parents before marriage;
  • 69% believe that it is never justified for a woman to have sexual relationships before marriage; 
  • 57% believe that it is never justified for a woman to give birth to a child without being married.
Then she gets married and hears that:
She will then become a mother in a country where:
  • The maternal mortality rate is the worst in Eastern European and neighboring countries;
  • 65% of people believe that “it is better for a preschool aged child if the mother does not work”;
  • One in three disagree that “employed mothers can be as good caregivers to their children as mothers who do not work”;
  • 74% believe that a woman is more valued for her family than for success in her career.
If she perseveres and gets a job, she will:
  • Earn 39% less than men, on average.
  • Have difficulties in career progression since one in five people think that women are not as good at decision making as men and nearly one in five men would feel uncomfortable with a woman as their immediate boss.
If she ever has problems with her husband:
All these findings, and the sexism that underlies them, are likely accountable for the fact that there have been more than 60 gender-based murders or attempted murders of women in the past two years in Georgia. But the human rights committee of the parliament of Georgia has rejected a proposal that would define femicide as a premeditated murder of a woman based on her gender.

And still, every fifth person in the country says there is gender equality in Georgia.

The list of issues presented above is by no means exhaustive, but rather provides an overview of data which contributes to an understanding of perceived gender roles in Georgia.

1 comment:

David Lee said...

Excellent use of data to drill down into an issue of concern in society. Hard hitting visuals, but perhaps refresh rate is a little fast.

Brave, relevant, clear. Good job.