Photo: Geda Darchia/UNDP

“We are single mothers, women migrants, women in low-paid jobs. We fall victims of abuse at work. We face discrimination in property rights. We carry an unequal burden of housework. We live next to you. Listen to us. Talk to us. Change the reality.”

These messages were scribbled on a torn-out page of an old-fashioned wall calendar. On the other side there was a hand-written invitation. The address indicated a residential building in the old neighbourhood of Georgia’s capitol, Tbilisi.

At the given time, on a sunny September afternoon, the intrigued guests who arrived at the traditional courtyard of the building were met by the organisers of the campaign “We Need Equality” and guided to the House of Women – an apartment turned into a performance space, inhabited by the campaign heroines.

There was a real person with a real story in each of the rooms: Sopo, a single mother of three, who struggles to find a day job because of the housework burden; Tatia, the first woman in Georgia who filed a law suit accusing her boss of sexual harassment; and Tsitsino, a carpenter who cannot expand her small enterprise because she doesn’t own a property that she could pledge as a guarantee for a business loan. The last room was dedicated to the women who left the country for economic reasons. The space was dominated by a huge screen displaying an emotional virtual conversation between a migrant mother and her daughter.

The visibly moved audience was then invited back to the courtyard where the host of the House of Women, a renowned Georgian actor Nata Murvanidze, together with the heroes of the performance, hung big white sheets with slogans on a wire. The symbolic washing read: “We need a law on sexual harassment”, “Wage gap is unfair. Let’s change it”, “Women and men need to share the burden of domestic work” and simply “We Need Equality”.

“Currently, Georgia faces 35% gender pay gap, alarming statistics of gender-based violence and low participation of women in economic and political life. On the other hand, the estimates say that if women were fully exploring their potential, the country’s GDP would grow by at least 10 percent,” Tuya Altangerel, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia, said.

Photo: Nino Zerdginidze/UNDP

The campaign We Need Equality, together with the installations representing the House of Women, moved later to the regions of Georgia. The next event was held in the city of Telavi, where it merged with a celebration of the International Day of Rural Women and brought together representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Ministry of Environmental protection and Agriculture, Telavi City Hall and civil society organizations.

The interactive installation and public discussion were accompanied by a colourful display of foods produced by the members of Georgian Women Farmers Association.

Tatia, who was forced to leave her job after suing her boss over harassment at a workplace, was taking part in the discussion.

“We need to push for a change”, she argued. “On the decision-making level, politics and business in Georgia are largely dominated by men. Despite some progress, the society is still deeply rooted in false perceptions on what roles men and women should be taking. We need to change that perspective starting from our own yards, neighbourhoods, workplaces and ending with the parliament”, Tatia said.

The campaign We Need Equality was launched in 2017 by UNDP under the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality in Georgia funded by the Government of Sweden. Its first wave focused on political participation of women, while the current edition advocates for women’s economic empowerment. The campaign reaches out to people in all regions of Georgia to raise questions, stir debate and, most importantly, to help find solutions. 

October 2018

Explore more

Fifth annual conference of Women Councillors’ Forum

Challenging the visible and invisible barriers that hamper economic advancement of women in Georgia

Georgian Parliament takes a lead in monitoring Sustainable Development Goals.

National and local authorities in Georgia join hands to discuss how to advance gender equality in…

Representatives of the Swedish Parliament, Embassy of Sweden to Georgia and Armenia, United Nations…

Delegations of Georgia and Mongolia join hands with UNDP to discuss country experience in empowering…

We Need Equality campaign advocates for women's economic empowerment giving voice to single mothers,…

Irma, Ketevan and Keti— three achievers who move forward against the odds, and change the world one…

Barbare Jorjadze’s Room opens a space for discussions on feminism and gender equality.

From seven courageous women to the national Association of Women Farmers.

A choir conductor, a farmer, an entrepreneur - they are all women who change the world in their own…

Georgia's first Law on Gender Equality moves the country forward to achieving meaningful equality…

Reflections from Georgia's first National Conference on Gender Equality in Local Self Governance.

Overcoming challenges faced by Georgian women on their way to politics.

The study reviews Georgian law and policy and identifies remaining gaps related to gender equality.

The monitoring examines news and talk-shows aired by Georgian televisions during the 2017 Local…

The research identifies key obstacles that hamper women's economic empowerment in Georgia. It…

Drug Policy Reform and Labour Code Amendments are the first two pieces of legislation in Georgia to…

The research examines the obstacles faced by Georgian women while striving for a political career…

The report presents some key results achieved by UNDP in Europe and Central Asia in 2014 in our…

Icon of SDG 05

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Georgia 
Go to UNDP Global