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Wednesday | 08 March, 2017

Rights Instead of Flowers

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th. In Georgia, many women receive flowers on this day. Instead, some are asking for protection of their rights.
 
This data highlights the situation of and attitudes toward women in Georgia, based on official statistics and public opinion research:
 
Gender based violence starts in Georgia even before a girl is born: 
 
•   While 76% of the population of Georgia say abortions are never justified, people tend to act differently if a girl is expected. As a result of sex selective abortions in 1990-2010, 25,000 girls are estimated to be missing in Georgia.

•   If a family is to have only one child, every fourth person prefers a boy while only one in ten prefers a girl.
 
If and when she is born, she grows up in a society where:
 
•   22% consider a university degree to be more important for a boy than for a girl;
•   57% believe that it is not acceptable for a woman of any age to drink hard alcohol such as vodka or brandy;
•   81% think that it is not acceptable for a woman of any age to smoke tobacco;
•   56% think that it is not acceptable for a woman of any age to live apart from her parents before marriage;
•   69% believe that it is never justified for a woman to have sexual relationships before marriage;
•   57% believe that it is never justified for a woman to give birth to a child without being married.
 
Then she gets married and hears that:
 
•   A man should normally be the only breadwinner in the family;
•   He should also be the main decision maker in the family;
•   Women cannot be as successful in their career as men because of the household responsibilities they have; 
•   Taking care of the home and family satisfies a woman as much as a paid job.
 
She will then become a mother in a country where:
 
•   The maternal mortality rate is the worst in Eastern European and neighboring countries;
•   65% of people believe that “it is better for a preschool aged child if the mother does not work”;
•   One in three do not believe that “employed mothers can be as good caregivers to their children as mothers who do not work”;
•   74% believe that a woman is more valued for her family than for success in her career.
 
If she perseveres and gets a job, she will:
 
•   Earn 39% less than men, on average.
•   Have difficulties in career progression since the vast majority of people think that women are not as good at decision making as men, and nearly one in five men would feel uncomfortable with a woman as their immediate boss.
 
If she ever has problems with her husband:
 
•   Every other compatriot would tell her that in order to preserve the family, a woman should endure a lot from her spouse;
•   Initiating divorce will only be justified to others if she is physically abused by her husband. If her husband is being unfaithfulpsychologically abusive, or if she is no longer in love with him, these simply are not good enough reasons for a women to initiate divorce; 
•   If her husband is psychologically abusive, most people will simply ignore her problems, since it is widely believed that non-physical violence is a matter that should only be dealt with in the family. And 39% of the population thinks the same about physical violence.
 
All these findings, and the sexism that underlies them, are likely accountable for the fact that there have been more than 60 gender-based murders or attempted murders of women in the past two years in Georgia. But the human rights committee of the parliament of Georgia has rejected a proposal that would define femicide as a premeditated murder of a woman based on her gender.
 
And still, every fifth person in the country says there is gender equality in Georgia.
 
The list of issues presented above is by no means exhaustive, but rather provides an overview of data which contributes to an understanding of perceived gender roles in Georgia.


Natia Mestvirishvili is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at CRRC-Georgia and a Researcher at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
08.08.2015 | Saturday

What do CB interviewers’ ratings of respondents’ intelligence tell us?

CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) surveys regularly collect information about how the interviewers assess each of the conducted interviews – so called paradata that provides additional insight into the conditions surrounding the interviews (e.g., whether someone besides the respondent and the interviewer was present during the face-to-face interview), as well as interviewers’ subjective assessments of, for example, level of sincerity of the respondents.
28.06.2015 | Sunday

Finding divorce hard to justify

By Maya Komakhidze

[Note:  Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the third blog post in the series. Click 
here to see the first and second blog posts in the series.]

study carried out by the UNDP in 2013 shows that traditional views of gender roles persist in Georgia – women primarily view themselves as housewives, spouses and mothers. Unsurprisingly, in the focus group discussions conducted within the framework of the National Research on Domestic Violence project, respondents associated divorce with “disaster,” “the end of the world” and the shame of a woman returning to her parents’ home after divorce. 
28.05.2014 | Wednesday

Smoking in the South Caucasus and tobacco policy in Azerbaijan

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day as declared by the United Nations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco usage is the primary reason for chronic diseases including “cancer, lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases” among other diseases.
09.06.2014 | Monday

Divorce rates in Azerbaijan

In the Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System, Revision 2 (by the United Nations), divorce is defined as “a final legal dissolution of a marriage, that is, that separation of husband and wife which confers on the parties the right to remarriage under civil, religious and/or other provisions, according to the laws of each country.” This blog post examines divorce in Azerbaijan over the years, by age group, gender and by duration of marriage. The post also explores perceptions of happiness among divorced Azerbaijanis and those who are not divorced. 
07.07.2014 | Monday

Facebook usage in Azerbaijan

On February 3rd, 2014, Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary. According to the World Map of Social Networks December, 2013 statistics, Facebook is the world’s most popular social network with more than one billion users. It is followed by QZone with 552 million users, Vkontakte (190 million users), Odnoklassniki (45 million users), and Cloob (1 million users). However, it is important to note that social network usage is not distributed evenly geographically. 
28.07.2014 | Monday

Are more educated women in Georgia choosing not to have children?

Some social scientists, such as Satoshi Kanazawa, argue that a woman’s education level can impact her willingness to have children. However, Linda Hirshman, a scholar of women’s issues, questions Kanazawa’s findings by arguing that reproduction is a culturally-inflected decision. Additionally, Gary Becker hypothesizes that women with higher education might not feel economic pressure such that marriage is economically advantageous.
13.11.2014 | Thursday

Exploring Homophobia in Georgia: Part 2

This is the second blog post in a series analyzing homophobia in Tbilisi. The first blog post in this series can be found here. 

Who tends to be more homophobic in Tbilisi – men or women? This blog post explores differences in homophobic attitudes between males and females using data from CRRC-Georgia’s survey of Tbilisi residents on the events of May 17, 2013, and shows that men tend to be more homophobic than women. Moreover, the findings show that men are more homophobic when they believe that homosexuality is inborn, rather than acquired.
30.11.2015 | Monday

Parenting, gender attitudes and women’s employment in Georgia

In Georgia, unemployment is high, and it is higher among women than men. Policy changes are definitely needed not only to increase the employment opportunities, but also to ensure more equal employment opportunities for men and women.
29.09.2011 | Thursday

Is the South Caucasus a homogenous region?

In a recent datablog, the Guardian published a map visualizing how the former Soviet countries are doing 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. The map compares the 15 former Soviet countries in terms of economic development, demographics and democratic transition. It also divides the countries into five regions: Russia, the Baltic countries, the EU borderlands, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
26.12.2011 | Monday

Boy or Girl? Child Gender Preference in the South Caucasus

Survey data shows that there is a strong preference for male children over female children throughout the South Caucasus. As mentioned in the March 4, 2010 edition of The Economist, after 1991 there has been an increase in the ratio of boys to girls in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The sex ratio rose from 103-106 boys to 100 girls in 1991 to 115-120 boys to 100 girls by 2000. The 2010 Caucasus Barometer (CB) indicates that gender preferences in the South Caucasus remain skewed in favor of males with 54% of Armenians, 27% of Azerbaijanis and 46% of Georgians prefer to have male children if given a choice.
19.03.2010 | Friday

Gender imbalances | The South Caucasus on the top of the list

Earlier this month The Economist published two articles (article onearticle two) on imbalances in gender. In all societies there is, at birth, a sex ratio slightly biased in favor of boys: 103-106 boys to 100 girls. The number evens out later on as male babies have a higher mortality rate than female babies. In some parts of the world, however, there currently is an abnormally high number of boys being born.
10.12.2010 | Friday

Policy Attitudes towards Women in Azerbaijan: Is Equality Part of the Agenda?

By Yuliya Aliyeva Gureyeva, Baku

The paper published in the 21st edition of the Caucasus Analytical Digest presents an account of how two competing policy approaches coexist in the policy attitudes towards women in Azerbaijan. 
04.08.2008 | Monday

Georgia: Women's Participation in Politics

Women’s participation at all levels of elections in Georgia is diminishing. As the Caucasus Women’s Network (CWN)reports, women inGeorgia were less represented in terms of candidates in the last parliamentary elections than in any previous parliamentary elections inGeorgia’s democratic history. On the other hand, women’s low political participation in elected bodies belies women’s activeness in civil society institutions, where females appear to be very active.
13.11.2008 | Thursday

World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index | a few surprises

Indices are engaging and instructive, but some really baffle us. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the organisation that organises the annual high-profile Davos meetings, has come up with a gender index, and the Caucasus is featured. The index is intended to measure how the world is closing the gender gap in education, health, and political and economic participation. In principle, this is a great idea, since there are significant challenges and discrepancies (as our data itself shows).