“The Role of Religion in Prevention of Violence against Women” Tbilisi Conference

July 11, 2017, at 9.45, the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (Address: #13 Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi, Georgia).

The Conference “The Role of Religion in Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls” is set to go ahead as a collaborative effort among the Inter-Agency Council on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Gender Equality, the Administration of Muslims of All Georgia, the Union 21st Century and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia CO. The leadership of the Administration of Muslims of All Georgia, Muslim clergy from regions of Georgia and members of Interreligious Council will take part in the conference.

The representatives of legislative and executive branches of the government, international and local organizations, diplomatic corps and media are invited to participate. The purpose of the conference is to jointly discuss the role of religious unions in the prevention and elimination of violence and harmful practices against women and girls in support of the state efforts in this direction. 

Early/child marriage still remains an acute problem in Georgia, since such practice adversely affects young people under the age of 18. Child marriage is associated with a number of grave consequences for girls, such as social isolation and dropping out of school. Underage marriage leaves girls vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual abuse within relationships that are unequal. Furthmore, if they become pregnant, they often experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth, as their bodies are not ready for childbearing. In recent years, the cases of forced marriage have been observed, in some cases ending up with murder or suicide of teenage girls. 

Furthermore, last year, the statistics of female genital mutilation were reported to be occurring in the Kvareli municipality, which is a grave violation of human rights and an unacceptable practice. 

The Government of Georgia has been carrying out an intense policy to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls, as well as harmful practices. The Parliament of Georgia amended the Civil Code of Georgia and raised the age limit for marriage registration to 18 years, without exception. Female Genital Mutilation is regarded as a criminal action by law; the Law on Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence Protection and Support for its Victims is in full force. 

In 2016, in partnership with the Union Century 21st and the UNFPA/ Georgia, the first steps of collaboration were taken with the Interreligious Council, which consists of 11 religious unions. The aim of the collaboration is to gain the support of religious associations in prevention and elimination of violence and harmful practices against women and girls. In the framework of this initiative, two forums were organized under the aegis of the Interreligious Council, as well as information meetings with the local Muslim clergy. Elderly and community leaders came together in Sagarejo, Kvareli and Telavi municipalities of the Kakheti region in cooperation with the Administration of Muslims of All Georgia. 

The conference on “The Role of Religion in Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls” is one more step in advancing the concerted effort. The Administration of Muslims of All Georgia will be reading a statement on issues related to early/child marriage and Violence against Women and Girls.

10 July 2017 19:12