Women’s Voice in Elections
In August 2017, ACCESS-supported Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) launched the campaign #Women’sVoiceinElections in regions of Georgia. The campaign aims to identify the specific needs of local women and making election programs and strategies responsive to those needs. The campaign envisions diverse activities, including information meetings with women, trainings, meetings and debates between female voters and election subjects, and active media coverage of the events.
Within the campaign, the ACCESS’ grantee – Journalists’ Network for Gender Equality went out to tomato fields in Shulaveri, Kvemo Kartli during the harvest period to meet with women working in the fields and inquire about their concerns and most pressing problems they would like to share with the political parties and candidates participating in the upcoming local government elections. The problems listed by the women ranged from having to work all day long, even in 40 degrees Celsius heat, to having to carry water for long distances due to the lack of water supply. They also spoke about the need for kindergartens in the community, the poor roads in the area, and government’s unresponsiveness to their problems. The Journalists’ Network for Gender Equality held additional meetings in the villages of Kvemo Kartli with rural women. In total, 20 such meetings will be held after which the organization will analyze key concerns and problems and present these issues to election candidates and political party representatives.
Another ACCESS Grantee, the Levan Mikeladze Foundation, identified 70 active women from the municipalities of Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki, and Marneuli and delivered training to them which focused on elections, active citizenship, and the importance of women’s engagement in election processes. The trained women will participate in the meetings/debates with election candidates in all 3 municipalities.