Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Garibashvili and UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, Mr. Niels Scott signed on Friday the United Nations Partnership for Sustainable Development (UNPSD), which outlines the strategic directions of the UN activities in the country over a five-year period (2016-2020).
"Being a UN family member brings lots of benefits to Georgia,” PM Garibashvili said as he delivered a speech at the ceremony."We highly appreciate your recommendations and we are grateful for your continuous support.”
How can economic and social policies work together to create an economy that works for women, and how can government, employers and trade unions partner to tackle challenges regarding women's employment? These were some of the issues addressed when UN Women launched its Flagship Report, focusing on the economic situation of women worldwide.
In their opening remarks, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, Erika Kvapilova and the Head of Government Administration, Maia Tskitishvili both highlighted that the economic empowerment of women lies at the heart of gender equality; and that gender equality lies at the heart of sustainable development.
The Global Flagship Report 'Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016: Transforming Economies, Realizing Rights' asks what the economy would look like if it truly worked for women. One of the answers given during the UN Women launch event was: "A workplace free from discrimination and harassment". During her presentation of the report, Laura Turquet (Progress of the World's Women Report Manager at UN Women) stated:
55% of women in the EU have experienced sexual harassment, and as many as 75% of women in top management positions. Employers need to create a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment, and training and awareness-raising are effective measures to change attitudes, especially with men.
Sexual harassment was also the topic of the subsequent panel discussion. The panel brought together representatives of ILO in Georgia, the Public Defender’s Office, Georgian Employers Association, the Georgian Trade Union Confederation and the NGO Partnership for Human Rights, to discuss this issue from different angles. Zsolt Dudas, Chief Technical Adviser of the ILO, stated that:
“Sexual harassment functions as a barrier to women’s employment. The Labor Code is not a sufficient regulation for this issue; there are no sanctions and no labor inspections to ensure enforcement”.
Ekaterine Skhiladze, Head of the Gender Equality Department of the Public Defender’s Office, stressed that reporting and identification of sexual harassment is also a big challenge: “It is a taboo issue; women do not speak out about sexual harassment, because if they do they get the blame. The trade unions and labor organisations can play an important role in increasing awareness”.
This was reiterated by Mikheil Kordzakhia, Vice President of the Georgian Employers Association, who said that the two issues of sexual harassment and the pay gap between women and men are alarming: “We need to raise awareness among businesses, identify the root causes and eradicate them”.
Several of the speakers highlighted the need to amend legislation to make sexual harassment prevention and response possible; and to remove taboos through the active involvement of labor inspectors, employers, trade unions and civil society, as well as the Government and international organisations.
UN Women and the Millennium Challenge Account in Georgia have signed an MOU, agreeing to promote the implementation of the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The main objective of the MOU is the strengthening of women’s access to education, training and employment within male-dominated fields.
The Women’s Empowerment Principles are seven principles for private sector actors, developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact, providing guidance on how to empower women in and through business.
On Friday, UN Women Country Representative Erika Kvapilova and Magda Magradze, CEO of MCA – Georgia, signed an MOU to jointly promote the implementation of these principles through technical and vocational education and training institutions (TVETs), as well as through businesses working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. MCA in Georgia is providing support to improve the quality of education in these traditionally male-dominated fields, as well as supporting greater responsiveness to labor market needs. Within these fields, there is also great potential to break down stereotypes and to reach out to more women as students and employees.
On November 13, the conference commemorating the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was held in Tbilisi. Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), David Narmania, Tbilisi Mayor, Shalva Khutishvili, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Tengiz Shergelashvili, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Courtney Autrian, Public Affairs Officer of U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, representatives of the diplomatic corps and different government institutions took part in the conference. Temo Arabidze, the winner of the ,,Georgia’s Got Talent’’, who is the wheelchair user himself and who had become disabled after a car crash, shared his experience and focused on barriers he faces daily on Georgian streets.
Rome, 9 November 2015 – This week on an official visit to Georgia, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo F. Nwanze, will meet with Irakli Garibashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia, and Otar Danelia, Minister for Agriculture, to discuss the UN agency's continued commitment to promoting agriculture development and poverty reduction in the country.
A key point for discussion is how to revitalise the agriculture sector to reduce poverty and improve the lives of smallholder farmers through innovative approaches such as developing climate smart agricultural systems; improving access for farmers and agri-business to markets; modernizing the value chain approach and creating opportunities for young people.
To reverse the tide of Georgian youth migrating to cities in search of jobs, IFAD is committed to join forces with the government of Georgia to revitalize the agricultural sector, home to 43 per cent of the rural population.
The Ambassadorial Working Group would like to express concern about recent developments related to the Georgian media in general and to the case of Rustavi-2 TV in particular.
As Georgia has committed itself to strengthening the respect for democratic principles of the rule of law and good governance, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including media freedom, as well as to reinforce independence and professionalism of the media, we are confident that the appropriate environment will be ensured by the State.
The Ambassadorial Working Group calls for a peaceful dialogue in resolving the ongoing Rustavi-2 ownership dispute to ensure the adherence to a fair legal process that is free from any political influence.
We affirm the importance of upholding the democratic standards of media freedom and political pluralism in line with Georgia’s constitution and international commitments.