Photo: Anna-Carin Hall / Kvinna till Kvinna

Kvinna till Kvinna in Georgia and breakaway regions

Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women’s rights in Georgia and the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since 2002. Our partners promote peacebuilding efforts and support internally displaced persons. They also counter stereotypes and abuse by providing courses on women’s rights and SRHR. Course participants range from law students and police officers to young women and teachers.

Why we work in Georgia

After Georgia became independent from the Soviet Union, internal conflicts led to the formation of two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These remain outside Georgia’s control, and armed conflict over the regions has occurred with Russia. Women are largely excluded from peace talks.

Gender stereotypes in Georgia remain powerful, fueled by the conservative Georgian Orthodox church. This has contributed to the low representation of women in politics: in 2017, women held only 16% of seats in parliament. Legislative proposals for gender quotas have been voted down several times.

Luckily, attitudes are changing. Georgia has adopted several laws and mechanisms to strengthen gender equality, including anti-discrimination legislation. It is also taking action on UNSC resolution 1325.

Yet while civil society has more freedom in Georgia than elsewhere in the region, many activists still face threats. Their space to defend women’s rights cannot be taken for granted.

Young women from Georgia join other South Caucasian women at a feminist Summer School in the Georgian seaside town of Kobuleti, to discuss women’s rights and challenges. Photo: Julia Lapitski / Kvinna till Kvinna

How we support women in the region

Together with our partners in Georgia and the breakaway regions, we:

  • Facilitate dialogue and build trust between opposing sides of the border conflicts
  • Promote peacebuilding, with a focus on women’s leadership
  • Offer IDPs psychosocial and legal support
  • Raise awareness of gender-based violence among law enforcement actors
  • Support survivors of gender-based violence
  • Hold gender equality courses for teachers and university students
  • Advise the government and write shadow reports
  • Educate women on SRHR and provide free gynecological care
Photo: Irina Yanovska

Women's rights under threat in the breakaway regions

In the two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, women’s rights are not a priority. There are no laws on violence against women, and in 2016, Abkhazia made abortion practically illegal.

Activists who try to defend women’s rights here face great hostility. Many organisations have been forced to dissolve. In South Ossetia, closer ties with Russia have entirely crushed civil: activism is now impossible.

Photo: Hanna Navier / Kvinna till Kvinna

Our partner organisations

  • Anti-Violence Network of Georgia
  • Association “Imedi” IDP women’s movement for peace
  • Association of Women of Abkhazia
  • Cultural-Humanitarian Fund “Sukhumi”
  • Democratic Women’s Organization of Samtskhe-Javakheti
  • StudioMobile – Accent on Action
  • Development Center of Gagra
  • Union of Wives of Invalids and Lost Warriors
  • Women’s Fund for Development
  • Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group

Five of our partners work with/in the breakaway region of Abkhazia, one with/in South Ossetia.

More women in Georgian politics

Our partner Imedi’s efforts to empower women to enter politics are showing results. In local elections in October 2017, the number of elected women almost doubled in the area where Imedi works. This is the result of a summer school Imedi organised with the specific goal to increase women’s political participation.

Photo: Eana Korbezashvili

News from our partners in Georgia