Civic Engagement Week in Georgian Regions

Civic Engagement Week in Georgian Regions

From May 21 through 26, 2018, the Regional Civil Society Network (R-CSN) – the largest network of regional CSOs – and the Network of Centers for Civic Engagement (NCCE), with support from Civil Development Agency (CiDA) and EWMI ACCESS, organized a Civic Engagement Week in 10 regional cities of Georgia to mark the 100th anniversary since the announcement of Georgia’s independence and establishment of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia.

In addition to organizing public lectures, the discussions, and other awareness-raising events held in  Batumi, Zugdidi, Ozurgeti, Kutaisi, Chiatura, Akhaltsikhe, Gori, Rustavi, Telavi, and Sagarejo about the first republic and the fight for Georgia’s democratic development in 1918-1921, the R-CSN member CSOs organized public readings of the Georgian Declaration of Independence in the central parks and squares. On May 26, these events culminated in public signing of the Independence Declaration that were printed on large banners and installed in the central locations. In the ethnic-minority populated regions, the declarations were printed in Armenian and Azeri languages.

At the discussions the speakers analyzed how the idea of independence evolved in Georgia and which political, social, and economic factors determined formation of the first democratic republic of Georgia. They also informed the participants about the aggressive Soviet propaganda that aimed to diminish the importance of that period and discredit the image of the founders of the first democratic republic of Georgia.

Separate sessions were dedicated to the reforms carried out during 1918-1921 (i.e. local governance sector reform resulting in the complete decentralization of the regions, reforms in rural sector, support to private entrepreneurship, reform of public finance sector and introduction of the national currency, etc.), the first open and democratic elections held in 1919, adoption of the Constitution and history of constitutionalism in Georgia since 1918 to date, cultural life of 1918-1921, the Founding Assembly of the first democratic republic of Georgia, and the role of women in legislature and public life.

Additionally, R-CSN and NCCE distributed the smaller size versions of the declaration in Georgian, Armenian, and Azeri across the country together with the pins depicting the first Georgian Assembly and some of its individual members (specifically, female and ethnic minority members), and the quotes from the first Georgian Constitution referring to the respect for diversity, ethnic minority rights, women’s rights, labor rights, and division of state and church.

Below please see the campaign photos:

Categories: Highlights

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