Photo: Leli Blagonravova/UNDP

Ida Bakhturidze, a civic activist and one of the founders of the platform Women from Georgia, received the Kato Mikeladze Award 2018 in recognition of her achievements in supporting women’s rights and gender equality.

The Kato Mikeladze Award, the most well-known and reputable recognition of social activism for women’s rights in Georgia, focused on a young generation of human rights defenders this year, highlighting some new milestones in advancing the gender equality agenda.

The list of nominees included 14 young civic leaders, journalists, researchers and entrepreneurs who stepped forward as change agents advocating for sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality in education, the elimination of gender-based violence and the rights of migrants and minority groups.

The selection committee also established a special prize for supporting the future work of a women’s rights defender and awarded it to Nata Talikishvili, a human rights activist and a community mobilizer for the organization “Women’s Initiative Support Group,” which protects the rights of transgender women.

As in the past, the Kato Mikeladze Award for 2018 was organized by the Women’s Fund in Georgia with assistance from two United Nations (UN) agencies, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women; the British organization “Sigrid Rausing Trust”; and the international women's fund “Mama Cash.”

“We salute our award winners and nominees for their courage in standing up for equal rights,” said Louisa Vinton, head of the UN system in Georgia. “Here in Georgia as elsewhere in the world, we have civil society activists to thank for challenging prejudices, changing minds and building momentum for more just policies.”

Nana Pantsulaia, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund in Georgia, stressed that young champions for women’s rights are talking to people across society about the issues that matter most to them.

“Georgian women are becoming more vocal across all spheres of life. They make their voice heard in politics, economic activities, education and human rights protection. The Kato Mikeladze Award aims to spread the message about their work, ensure their protection and security, and encourage young activists to step forward,” she said.

The Kato Mikeladze Award was established in 2013 in honour of the early 20th century Georgian feminist and founder of Georgian suffragism. The annual awards ceremony is one of many events organized to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence and brings together human rights activists, gender-equality advocates, and representatives of civil society, educational institutions and international organizations.

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