General Proposal relating to Discriminatory Statement on Grounds of Sex
On July 20, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed Shalva Natelashvili, Chairman of the Georgian Labour Party, with a general proposal relating to the prevention of discrimination against women.
The motive for making the proposal was the statement posted by Shalva Natelashvili on his Facebook page on May 13, 2020 in response to the changes made in the criminal law on rape: “This is complete idiocy. First of all, in many cases of rape, e.g. when I worked as an investigator, the crime was provoked by the so-called victims themselves for the purpose of extorting any benefit or forcing the men to marry them. Passing the law with this wording means that any man could be arrested any time if the so-called 'victim' wishes it."
Given the current context and the status of the respondent, the Public Defender believes that the argument used by Shalva Natelashvili to criticize the legislative changes encourages discrimination against women in general and has a particularly negative impact on women who have suffered violence and/or are alleged victims of violence. According to the Public Defender, even if there have been similar cases, it is unacceptable to generalize them and to portray the problem as though that female victims of rape usually act for personal purposes and that no crime actually takes place in most cases. The Public Defender beleives that the statement made by Shalva Natelashvili cannot be considered an objective, professional criticism and is conditioned by gender stereotypes.
Accordingly, the Public Defender calls on Shalva Natelashvili to refrain from making discriminatory statements and to promote gender equality when performing his activities in the future.