Georgia commits to legal reforms to tighten provisions for non-discrimination, campaigns to combat early marriages (updated)

With 2015 the year of women in Georgia, it commits to continuing to update, enhance and develop action plans on gender equality, domestic violence, and women, peace and security. It will enhance institutional mechanisms by setting up an inter-ministerial commission on gender equality. Ongoing legal reforms will encompass amending the labour code to protect women’s employment rights, and revising the gender equality law to address cases of gender discrimination in line with the newly adopted non-discrimination law.

Georgia will ratify and implement the Council of Europe [Istanbul] Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, and work with development partners to prevent early marriages, with activities on this issue coordinated by an inter-sectorial taskforce. Dedicated awareness raising-campaigns will combat violence against women and girls and aim at stopping early marriages. Georgia will continue to adhere to human rights standards and implement international commitments to women’s rights, particularly those in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action.

Speaking at the Global Leaders’ Meeting on 27 September 2015, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said: “Georgia’s commitments have taken us a long way, but there can be no cause for complacency.” [ Speech ]

Developments since Georgia’s commitment

The Government of Georgia has fulfilled its commitment to update and develop the Gender Equality, Domestic Violence and Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans. It has approved the National Action Plan on the measures to be implemented for combating violence against women and domestic violence, as well as the National Action Plan on the Implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, both covering the period of 2016–2017. Georgia will also develop a national Gender Equality Strategy presenting a longer-term, strategic vision on these issues.

Towards its efforts to enhance institutional mechanisms on gender, in April 2016, an amendment was introduced to the Law on Gender Equality and Code on Local Self-Government, which aims to establish Gender Equality Councils in the municipalities. Furthermore, the Government has worked on developing a relevant legal framework for setting up an Inter-Ministerial Commission on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at a high-level in the executive branch to be approved before the end of 2016. Georgia will continue to update and reform the legal system and implement the Istanbul Convention.

Meeting its commitment to take action against child marriage, Georgia has repealed the provision of the Civil Code that allowed marriage of a child between 16 and 18 upon obtaining her/his parents’ consent. By January 2017, it intends to completely ban marriages under 18.

In September 2015, a Task Force on the Issue of Early Marriages was established, and relevant policy recommendations made by the Task Force were integrated in the Action Plan of the Government of Georgia on the Protection of Human Rights for the years 2016–2017. [ Full update ]