So right now I am in Kazbegi participating in the Gender Theme Group Retreat arranged by UNWomen and Asian Development Bank.
Today I and Mariam Gagoshashvili from Women’s Fund of Georgia facilitated one of the sessions; Brainstorming on how to strengthen partnership with civil society organisations working on gender equality and women’s rights issues. A very important and appreciated element in our presentation were the findings of the small survey which we conducted in our networks of Kvinna till Kvinna partner organisations and Women’s Fund of Georgia grantees – so many thanks to each and everyone who took the time to respond to our small survey.
The discussions were lively and we hope that it will lead to increased cooperation between International organisations and local women’s organisations/groups in order to strengthen women’s organising and a women’s movement.
Mariam Gogoshashvili, Women’s Fund of Georgia and Sara Laginder, Kvinna till Kvinna.
So I am just having a small break in Zugdidi, Georgia after a very interesting week of meetings here in Zugdidi and the breakaway region Abkhazia.
The contrasts are many; first thing I noticed was hundreds of meters of new barbed wire, fences and a longer and more complicated procedure to enter the breakaway region Abkhazia. The Russian military is now controlling enter and exit of the breakaway region Abkhazia, and as I heard today some Russian military officers are telling local people, living in Eastern Abkhazia, that they need an Abkhaz passport to enter – however far from all inhabitants of Eastern Abkhazia have an Abkhaz passport – it is a long and complicated bureaucratic procedure to get one. Many of the inhabitants of Eastern Abkhazia depend on Georgia for health care and medical service. From barbed wire to the stunning beauty of nature – the black sea and the mountains while travelling to Gagra.
All women I have spoken to during my intense trip, on the Georgian as well as the Abkhaz side, ethnic Georgian as well as ethnic Abkhaz women, witness that women during the conflict got a new role – as breadwinners of the family and that they also were caring so much for the wellbeing and health of their families – that women simply forgot about themselves. Women might have been in need of health care and medical service – however they didn’t prioritize themselves – which resulted in poor health status of women. Moreover as a consequence of the conflict domestic violence has increased. In Abkhazia there are no mechanisms protecting women subjected to violence, and it seems like our partner organisations are alone in talking about domestic violence. Our partner organisations are working on increasing the awareness of domestic violence and its consequences and trying to prevent that gender stereotypes hindering women’s equal participation in private and public life are maintained. A very important and hard work in the conflict affected communities.
Aneta, Maia and Nani, Avangard, at ther portable ultra sound which they bring to villages all over Eastern Abkhazia where women have little or no access to health care.
Better late than never – people living in Gali has been waiting for the road to be fixed for about 20 years now. Today was a historical moment when the road in front of Avangard’s office was fixed.
I helgen som var sprang jag och min mamma halva lidingöloppet, något som blivit lite av en tradition för oss. I år sprang vi i Kvinna till Kvinna tshirts. Vi syntes väl i folkvimlet och fick fina kommentarer längs vägen – alltid lika härligt när man kan kombinera nytta med nöje. Springturen kändes lite meningsfullare än vanligt och det var ett effektivt sätt att synliggöra Kvinna till Kvinnas viktiga arbete för fred för såväl åskådare som medtävlande.