From: Womens United Nations Report Network [WUNRN_ListServe@LISTS.WUNRN.COM] on behalf of WUNRN [wunrn@WHATHELPS.COM]
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 12:38 AM
Subject: Georgia - Women NGO's Coalition Conference
  Contact: Galina Petriashvili

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Coalition Bulletin – Special Issue
(Adobe Acrobat file .pdf, 700 Kb)

Conference begins today, June 22

Conference begins today, June 22

The fifth anniversary of the Coalition gives us a chance to evaluate not only the Coalition’s history, but the dynamics of the entire women’s movement of Georgia. To study the movement’s tendencies, to analyze its achievements and failures, the Conference participants list includes not only the members of the Coalition but also the representatives of state structures, leaders of non-governmental sector, social unions, political parties, representatives of international organizations, and guests from different countries.

Five years is not a long term; however, during this period, women’s movement managed to achieve quite a lot: two structures were formed and are presently working at the state level – the Consultation Council on Gender Equality and the State Commission on Gender equality are aimed at establishing equal opportunities for women. Both structures were formed under the initiative and active participation of Coalition members and their colleagues from non-governmental sector. Series of legislative norms were adopted in our country; they are designed to protect women from violence, to strengthen their status within society. Important steps were made in order to implement important international agreements on achieving gender equality. However, women yet do not have equal opportunities for self-realization, professional development, access to management. Moreover, presently we see threatening tendencies, such as: feminization of poverty, increase of women’s unemployment and rise of violence. This is reality, which gets more severe as the time goes by.

The Conference studies the most problematic aspects of women’s lives. Its program includes discussions on such painful issues as conflicts resolution, peacebuilding and women’s role in this process. Discussion participants will speak about the tools and mechanisms that strengthen women’s abilities in the social-political life. The discussion on the possibilities of cooperation within women’s movement, on networking, on coalitions and unions will also take place. Sections work at each of these topics; Conference guests from other countries will be actively participating in the work, as their experience is very interesting and very important

Organizational committee began working at the conference back in November.

Here is what the committee members say:

Roza Kukhalashvili, head of Abkhazian Women Council organization:

– There were so many of us in the organizational committee from the beginning! Over 20 people, each with her own view of the program and its main purposes. Our women are very initiative, there were plenty of ideas, and it was quit difficult to define the general concept, that would suit all working groups. We spent almost entire winter to do this work. As a result, we have a very interesting program that gives an opportunity to discuss everything that is so very important, and to evaluate the experience of both, the Coalition and our guests.

Dzidzia Gudushauri, Woman and Health NGO:

– I am generally very interested in hearing the guests. We usually do our best to invite representatives of other sectors, MPs,  government members, political activists, to our regular sessions and Coalition’s seminars. Colleagues from other countries, such as experts from Estonia, Poland, Slovenia, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan always actively participated in our events. But today’s powerful forum was organized for the first time! I am sure that brilliant list of our guests and their active participation in the conference will enrich its work. And I really hope that our foreign contacts will become even more fruitful and intensive after the conference.

Keti Dadunashvili, Domus NGO:

– I will be holding one of the sections, ‘Tools and Mechanisms, Promoting Increase of Women’s Activeness in Social and Political Life.’ It is a very responsible section and a very important issue. But I hope for success and I am sure that the work will be very interesting, as the discussion will be lead by the people with the huge experience in this field. I am eager to hear speeches of our speakers from other countries: Jemma Asratyan from Armenia, Kamilla Dadasheva from Azerbaijan, Mira Karybaeva from Kyrgyzstan. It is also very important that we will adopt a final document outlining the major tasks of the women’s movement.

Guests of the conference

Reet Laja and Lena Blum, experts of ODIHR OSCE, Round Table of Women’s NGOs of Estonia:

– For years of the Coalition’s existence, we had an opportunity to work with Georgian women so many times, that have become so close to each other. Collaboration of our two national unions is a kunique experience, it is a wonderful initiative of ODIHR OSCE, that gave a chance for both sides to be developed. In Tallinn, our women still remember the visit of the Georgian Coalition that took place in December 2004, and we know from our Georgian friends that the visit was unforgettable for them as well. Back then, the two unions agreed on future cooperation, that continues development right now. After one year, we hosted not only Georgian women (Coalition’s regional network) but colleagues from Kyrgyzstan as well. Gender program of ODIHR OSCE is very consistent in the policy of regional integration, and it is very correct and clear–sighted.

Zulfia Tukhtakhojaeva, Mekhr Association, Uzbekistan:

– I heard a lot about the Coalition from my colleagues at the Gender Expert Pannell, Charita Jashi, Nina Tsikhistavi, Galina Petriashvili. Their stories about your work are very impressive. Finally I will be able to see everything myself, to get to know new colleagues. It is a wonderful opportunity to make new connections, to gain experience, to plan certain joint actions. I brought here kind regards from my colleagues of women’s organizations acting in Uzbekistan.

Vladimir Korotenko, Association of Social Technologies, Kyrgyzstan:

– Our ties with Georgian colleagues are already quit tight, we have being cooperating for several years already. We do not work only in the regional gender panel, but also meet each other at seminars, trainings, international meetings. A year ago, women from the regional networks of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan together with Estonian women held joint seminar in Tallinn. Members of our Association had visited Georgia several times. Some time ago, three of us, me, Nina Tsikhistavi and Galina Petriashvili conducted a training for regional activists in Bakuriani. We are also close to each other, because of our revolutions – the Rose and the Tulip ones. To be more specific, the problems that remained, or maybe even aggravated after the revolutions, make us closer.

Kamilla Dadasheva, Symmetry Association, Azerbaijan:

– One year ago, we invited Charita Jashi to participate  in our project. She is a great expert on gender budget, and her experience helped us a lot. Our Association works a lot at the problem of domestic violence, and I know that Georgia is also very active in its work against the problem. I hope to have a chance to speak about this particularly. Maybe we will be able to think of some joint project – it is much easier to work on the national level, when you have a support of other countries. It is especially important, when you promote a topic, which stopped being taboo just recently.


© 2006 WCG     Created by Levan Chkheidze

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