Tbilisi City Hall Joins Campaign to Eliminate Violence against Women

Tbilisi City Hall and Tbilisi Transport Company joined the annual ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ campaign to end violence against women, initiated by the United Nations. The campaign begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends on December 10, Human Rights Day.

Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Sophio Khuntsaria participated in a demonstration against gender-based violence by riding public buses and talking with passengers and people waiting for transport. The Deputy Mayor informed the bus passengers on Rustaveli Avenue about the campaign and about related statistics. She left them with a gift of a small pin with an orange ribbon, the color of the campaign.

Another, similar initiative is the White Ribbon Campaign, a global movement that began in 1991, closely associated with the 16 Days of Activism campaign. White Ribbons have become an international symbol of the fight against gender-based violence. Wearing a white ribbon represents a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Within the 16 Days, there are several other notable days: November 29: International Women’s Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1: World AIDS Day, and December 5: International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development.

Khuntsaria made a statement to reporters, saying that “the Tbilisi Municipality has joined the 16-day campaign against violence. Unfortunately, we have very bad statistics for violence against women. There are different forms of violence. Therefore, I urge all women to raise their voices and know that the State will always stand beside them.”

The 16-day campaign was established in 1991 by the first Women's Global Leadership Institute, held by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL) at Rutgers University. It has been held in Georgia for several years now, but this year is the first time that government agencies have participated in marking the campaign. On November 25, the Tbilisi TV tower at Mtatsminda Park was lit up orange in solidarity with the cause. Approximately 30 municipalities in Georgia have joined the central government's initiative to recognize the campaign, which is also active on social media. A major component of the recognition is the effort to raise awareness of legal and other services for victims of violence offered by the Government of Georgia and non-governmental organizations.

The campaign is being implemented in accordance with the National Strategy and Action Plan for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, which were developed and approved earlier this year by the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Women and Domestic Violence, with support from the United Nations Women's Organization (UN Women) and the European Union.

Together, the documents form the framework for the sectoral ministries and state agencies that are involved in preventing and responding to acts of violence against women at the national level.

Accompanying Khuntsaria were the Mayor's Advisor on Gender Equality Issues, Nino Burdzenidze, and other representatives from the Tbilisi Transport Company and City Hall.

By Samantha Guthrie

Image source: Tbilisi City Hall

06 December 2018 18:06