A Rapid Gender Assessment of the Covid-19 Situation in Georgia
Last month, UN Women released the results of a Rapid Gender Assessment of Covid-19. CRRC Georgia conducted the research, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Joint SDG Fund. The project was part of a broader UN Women impact assessment initiative. The study that was conducted in mid to late May, looks at how the Covid-19 outbreak affected livelihoods, domestic and care work, and the mental and physical health of women and men in Georgia. The study also provides a glimpse of how women and girls with disabilities reflected on changes the Covid-19 pandemic instigated.
The study led to a number of findings, which are summarized below. The survey showed that:
- While women were less likely to lose income, a plurality still reported receiving less money;
- Ethnic minorities were hit harder by the pandemic, being more likely to report losing jobs than ethnic Georgians;
- Women disproportionally suffered from increased unpaid domestic work. They reported spending more time on cleaning and cooking. Fewer women than men said that their partner was helping with domestic work;
- Almost half of the respondents reported difficulties in accessing medical supplies for personal protection, with more women reporting difficulties.
- The pandemic had a significant toll on mental health. Almost half of Georgians reported a decline in their mental health as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, women being disproportionally affected;
In-depth interviews with women with disabilities, female caregivers, and experts showed that:
- Many women and girls with disabilities had to postpone routine tests and checkups, due to limited availability of services and travel restrictions;
- While many service providers switched to telemedicine and online therapy, this was detrimental for children with disabilities in particular. This stems from the lack of basic infrastructure (internet access, computers, smartphones), and perceived inadequacy of services provided online compared to in-person care.
- Women and girls with disabilities are worried about the high costs of medical treatment and transport, rising costs of medicine, and basic hygiene products;
- As women and girls with disabilities are less likely to have their disability status registered, they have been deprived of state aid and services. This mainly stems from the stigmatization of disability in Georgia, especially when it comes to women and girls;
- Measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as curfews and lockdowns, seem to have affected the psychological and emotional well-being of women and girls with disabilities;
ქალთა საერთაშორისო დღე 8 მარტს აღინიშნება. ბევრ ქართველ ქალს ამ დღეს ყვავილებს ჩუქნიან. თუმცა, ზოგი მათგანი ყვავილების ნაცვლად უფლებებს ითხოვს. ეს სტატია ოფიციალურ სტატისტიკასა და საზოგადოებრივი აზრის გამოკითხვების შედეგებზე დაყრდნობით საქართველოში ქალების მიმართ არსებულ დამოკიდებულებებზე მეტყველებს.
სომხეთსა და საქართველოში, კაცები თვლიან, რომ უფრო მეტ საოჯახო საქმეს აკეთებენ, ვიდრე ეს სინამდვილეშიასომხეთსა და საქართველოში ტრადიციული გენდერული როლები დღესაც განსაზღვრავს ოჯახში შრომის განაწილებას. მიუხედავად იმისა, რომ ზოგიერთ საოჯახო საქმეებზე კაცები სრულად არიან პასუხისმგებლები და ზოგიერთს მეტ-ნაკლებად თანაბრად იზიარებენ ოჯახის ქალ წევრებთან ერთად, ძირითადად, საოჯახო საქმეებზე პასუხისმგებელი მაინც ქალები არიან.
In Georgia, having a boy has traditionally been desirable as sons are often considered the main successors in the family line, and they stay at home to take care of their parents as they age in contrast to women who traditionally move in with their husband’s family.
The findings reflect broader global trends which have seen dramatic decreases in air pollution levels in China, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
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Without trust in the messages of public health officials, measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus are less likely to be complied with, exacerbating the spread of the virus.
Many experts believe that to fully remove the restrictions which have emerged because of the COVID-19 crisis, a vaccine is needed. While vaccines are only expected in the medium term, if and when they are available, Georgia may face large challenges with implementing a large scale vaccination program.
The COVID-19 outbreak generated discussion about whether support for democracy would decline during and after the crisis. While reported support increased, this did not necessarily match support for democratic means of governance.
Data from the CRRC’s COVID-19 monitor shows that more people in Georgia reported support for democracy compared to the pre-crisis period. However, as before the crisis, support for democracy does not seem to be grounded in the values commonly associated with democratic governance.
In times of crisis, support for governments often rises in what is known as a rallying around the flag effect. The COVID-19 crisis in Georgia has been no exception.
Data from around the world has shown rallying around the flag effects in many countries during the pandemic, with a few exceptions. Georgia has followed this broader pattern, with performance ratings tripling for many actors and institutions between November/December 2019 and May 2020.
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Talk about political polarisation in Georgia is easy to find. Some have suggested that the recent United National Movement (UNM) announcement that Saakashvili will be their prime ministerial candidate will only make matters worse.
A new data analysis CRRC Georgia released on Tuesday suggests that this may in fact be the case. Data from several years of CRRC Georgia and NDI polling indicates that there are few ideological or policy issues that the supporters of Georgian Dream (GD) and the United National Movement (UNM) disagree about. Rather, attitudes towards politicians and political events are what divides, a fact the public intuitively recognises.
An NDI and CRRC survey conducted in June 2020 asked questions about people’s beliefs about the origins and spread of coronavirus. The data suggest that while a majority of the population does not believe in common disinformation messages such as a relation between 5G technology and the spread of the coronavirus, only a small portion thinks that coronavirus came about naturally.
Gendered norms prevail in Georgian society, which often translates into deprecation of women for smoking, drinking alcohol, having pre-marital sex, and even living with a boyfriend. However, attitudes appear to be shifting.
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey asked people what they thought about several such activities. The data showed that the public are least accepting of women smoking, with 80% reporting it is never acceptable at any age. Sexual relations (63%) and cohabitating with a man before marriage were also commonly thought to be never acceptable for women (60%).
In Georgia, it would appear that informing people that others are acting responsibly in the pandemic could in fact lead to the opposite behaviour.
Communications have been critical to attempts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 globally, and it is unclear what the best strategy for doing so might be. In Georgia, it would appear that informing people that others are acting responsibly in the pandemic could in fact lead to the opposite behaviour.
Since the pandemic hit Georgia in February, the Georgian government has taken several measures to raise awareness about it. But are the public actually well informed?
Since March 2020, the Georgian Government has been conducting large scale information campaigns through traditional and online media, has launched an informational web portal, StopCov.ge, and has even launched a smartphone app providing information about contact with infected people.
კორონა ვირუსის პანდემიამ აშკარად დააზიანა ხალხის ჯანმრთელობა.თუმცა, კავკასიის ბარომეტრის კვლევის ახალი მონაცემების მიხედვით, 2020 წელს ადამიანები საკუთარ ჯანმრთელობას უფრო კარგად აფასებენ, ვიდრე წინა წლების გამოკითხვებში.
2019 წელს მოსახლეობის მხოლოდ 35% აფასებდა თავის ჯანმრთელობას კარგად. გასულ წლებში, ეს მაჩვენებელი იცვლებოდა, თუმცა, ყველაზე დიდი ცვლილება 2013-2014 წლებში მოხდა, როდესაც ეს მაჩვენებელი 41%-დან 30%-მდე შემცირდა. ამის საპირისპიროდ, 2019 და 2020 წლების გამოკითხვებს თუ შევადარებთ, ადამიანების წილი, ვინც საკუთარ ჯანმრთელობას კარგად აფასებს, თითქმის გაორმაგდა - 35%-დან 65%-მდე გაიზარდა.