In Honor of Women’s History Month

Anna Arganashvili

Like in another countries, Georgian women and men are standing against the challenges that  are the challenges of democracy in general. However, women are also standing before the challenges that contain gender aspects. Very often, men ignore gender problems, because the solution of the problems that are in favor of women means giving up their privileges. Of course, gender inequality applies to men as well, but I would not say that this problem touches men as severely as women. Men have a problem confessing it. They think that if they recognize the damage that is caused by gender inequality, it will show their weaknesses, which, actually, is not so. As soon as we become honest about recognition of  gender challenges, we will be able to start solving the inequality problem.

Our country needs gender justice, which is a dynamic concept, because there is no justice when we say that everything is achieved. The new global challenges determine our development, and it is necessary to assess everything in terms of gender equality. That is why, for us, for this country, it is most important for us to establish gender equality.

Most of the Georgian do not have information about gender equality. Some of them know about it, but they perceive it incorrectly. They incorrectly think that it is a problem raised artificially. People cannot see the connection between gender equality and economic development. Unfortunately, only a small number of people analyze the essence of gender equality on their life, and only a small number relates this problem to themselves. Awareness of gender equality has several stages that are connected to having information, values and self-reflection that are dealt with varying degrees by us.

I believe, it is especially important today that people talk about gender equality on the basis of analyzing themselves and their own situation. It is one thing when you learned gender equality, but it is another when you analyze your life from this perspective. Even in terms of realizing how you treated someone unequally because of gender biases. I believe that this is the most natural and far-reaching approach, because, very often, the theoretical knowledge of the subject matter is changing, but the self-reflection is a much more solid source of knowledge. In my opinion, this process has already begun around us. It can be seen in the new generation, however, sometimes, it is hard to give it a name. We do not help the new generation to support their discoveries and thoughts.

As a human rights defender, I saw my contribution in the changes, when I noticed that the different groups of women no longer follow collectively to somebody’s idea. When the resistance arose, the discussion arose and the space arose. When people refuse to believe only what he delivered and ask for more. I had this feeling when the women who have trainings from our organization told us that they know the nature of the problems better than we do, and they said it very strongly. That is what I want to achieve for our organization – to arouse in people the wish of independence, more discussion and a better life. Equality does not mean someone is constantly predominant.  On the contrary, it is determined by the result. When more and more people say that they realize equality as they understand it, and as they separate from the group and resist, that is exactly when I feel the change, because they do not listen to us anymore.

I experienced gender inequality with myself when I realized that my aspiration to develop with my  husband and two children was very strange for other people. It is hard to believe for them how it is possible to balance these two, but, in fact, I still try to do so. Frequently, when some interesting outdoor meetings or training sessions were held, I had to make a choice – to stay with the children who needed me, or to go to the training, which I needed. In any case, I had to reject one of those choices. Now, I try to let the organizers know that I need their support. I ask them to fit my needs so that I do not have to leave children; or I ask them to give me an opportunity to bring my children with me. No one thinks about it. No one wants to support and think about us. They force us to hide that women have to care for children. I try to destroy this approach and to somehow include women with our social roles. There is no other way, and without the help of others, we will not be able to do it alone.

The environment is not appropriate for the women to develop. Therefore, the full potential of Georgian women is not being used fully. With the pressure of gender equality, the potential of women will increase, and the country will develop much faster. Also, that will increase the country’s democracy index, index of justice and freedom of expression – all of which lead to faster development. Therefore, I believe that gender equality is not a second-tier problem, which we can solve after we develop economically. No! Gender equality will lead to showing hidden potential, and we will go forward with using this potential.


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