Another remarkable character catches my eye as I look around the crowded hall. Anivard Mosoyan, the only female mayor in the whole country, is the living example of breaking barriers against the odds. Growing up in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia, known for its high rate of early marriages and limited career opportunities for women, it must have been tremendously complicated to have gotten where she is now. Anivard says, that, although things do move forward in her region, the lack of services, as well as both personal and professional support systems, still gets in the way of women who attempt at achieving success in the workplace.
“There are very little services and support for working women, in rural areas especially. Honestly, if I was offered this opportunity when my children were young, I don’t think I’d have been able to accept it and merge governing my town with being a mother and a wife,”, Anivard admits.
Future holds a promise for speedy changes that are expected to restore gender balance in Georgia’s local self-governance and offer women more opportunities for entering public office. With the ongoing local self-governance reform and 2016 amendments to the Gender Equality Law, more gender equality councils will be opened in municipalities and designated civil servants will be appointed to address the gender equality matters.
Until then, we will rely on strong, outstanding personalities like Anivard and Tamar to keep empowering Georgian women and paving the way for us, the younger generation.