Statement with Regards to the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women

On November 25, the civilized world marks the International Day for Elimination of violence against women. On the same day, a 16-day campaign against gender-based violence will be launched that aims at raising public awareness and demonstration of solidarity against victims of gender-based violence.

We are marking the day in Georgia with current alarming tendency towards violence against women. It was this year that scale and acuteness of the problem were felt to the greatest extent when more than 20 cases of killing of women by their partners or former partner have taken place in Georgia.

Violence against women is pain and problem of the entire society. It needs to be recognized, negative results of this phenomenon to be understood to the fullest and afterwards it needs to be stopped with joint efforts and coordinated and timely actions. But unfortunately, we failed to protect life and health of women in Kobuleti, Dvabzu, Lambalo, Zestafoni, Tbilisi and many other places. We failed to destroy stereotypical thinking, to understand naturally positive sides of gender equality aspiration, to spread this very aspiration and to form national consent for its establishment in the society.

In order to effectively fight against violence we need to recognize existence of the problem, to understand that the main causes for violence against women is gender inequality and it is this inequality that we need to fight against. While a woman’s voice is not heard when decisions are made, while women are subjected to harassment and unequal treatment at the time of employment, while we blame a victim and justify a offender for one or another reason we will swerved off the main road of problem resolution.

Today, it is clear that we do not have common vision of fighting against this wave of violence. Unfortunately, to this day I am still waiting for a reply to my proposal to the Parliament for them to make femicide a special issue of discussion, to invite relevant members of the government and discuss causes, to draw up a general national action strategy. I hope that at least now the Government will pass from recognition of the problem to actual steps for which they will have large support from the public.

It is vitally important to exert every effort to prevent violence against women, to protect and help possible victims. It is necessary that state authority bodies use all existing leverage to stop the violence. The Public should break its silence and loudly declare that violence against women is a dangerous offense for the society.

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