“Women as Agents for Change and Empowerment,” Achievements Reviewed

The Zurab Tsereteli Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) hosted the closing ceremony of Women as Agents for Change and Empowerment project. The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Georgia, H.E. Ian Kelly, Vice Speaker of Parliament of Georgia, Manana Kobakhidze, Head of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, Tamar Zhvania, Deputy Minister of Justice, Gocha Lortkipanidze, Director of Women’s Informatio,n Elene Rusetskaia, representatives of government, state agencies, local and international organizations, and political parties.

MOMA also hosted a photo exhibition of the activities carried out within the project and its results.

The project “Women as Agents for Change and Empowerment” was implemented by the Women’s Information Center, with the support of U.S. Agency for International Development - USAID, and in partnership with the Taso Foundation, Association of Young Economists of Georgia, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) and organizations based in Gali district in Kakheti, Imereti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Samtskhe-Javakheti regions, Gali district and Tbilisi. The project aimed at supporting women’s full participation in political, economic, peace-building and conflict prevention processes, promoting their political engagement in target regions, empowering women from a socio-economic point of view through mobilizing communities, and identifying local needs.

Within the project “Women as Agents for Change and Empowerment”:

• 9 agricultural cooperatives were established in target regions

• 7 community resource centers, including two in conflict affected areas, were opened and fully equipped

• Small libraries began functioning within the community resource centers

• Parliament discussed legislative initiatives on the introduction of a mandatory gender quota (prepared with Task Force Group-Women’s Political Participation)

• 60 leader women, 40 journalists, 30 youth, 20 representatives of central government and 20 representatives of local government were trained

• 21 small grants were given to women for economic empowerment

• Up to 100 reportages, articles and blog posts were prepared through media advocacy

• Photo achieves of the target regions were digitalized

• 5 unique surveys were carried out and publicized: Women’s Economic Opportunities and Challenges; Economic Needs of The Women Residing in the Rural Areas; Media monitoring of the local self-government elections, 2014; Survey of the essay papers of university entrants on gender equality; International survey on gender quota. The Women in Business guidebook was also prepared

• Meetings for women, journalists and human rights protectors engaging in peace negotiations were held to support public diplomacy

• The exhibition “Women Members of Constituent Assembly: 1919-1921” was held to promote women’s political participation. The exhibition will move to New York, USA in March, 2016

• The project was the partner of the 16th Tbilisi International Film Festival. One of the films was released through that partnership and was followed by public discussion

Over 3,000 people from different regions, ethnicities and religious groups were directly engaged in the project, including conflict-affected and IDP women. The project’s team is proud to have assisted them in promoting their abilities, developing their skills and discovering new opportunities around them; to have prepared them for political participation and economic empowerment, and engagement in peace building processes as well as their promotion in central and regional media. The project’s team deeply believes that each empowered woman means a strengthened community, village, region and finally - a stronger state.

About USAID in Georgia: During the past 23 years, the American people, through USAID, have invested approximately $1.8 billion in Georgia. USAID projects are designed to support Georgia’s transition to a free and prosperous democracy and include initiatives to accelerate economic growth, develop democratic institutions, and improve health and education. USAID provides economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries.

22 January 2016 12:04