Georgia has made visible progress in promoting gender equality through recent changes in legislation, policies and institutional structures. The role of the private sector in accelerating these changes is critical. On 9 December 2014, within the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence framework, UN Women Georgia Country Office launched the Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business (WEPs) to attract companies in Georgia to take concrete actions to implement the WEPs and empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The event also helped encourage interested businesses to join the movement by signing the CEO Statement of Support for the WEPs.
Launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business in Georgia (from left to right): Deniz Öztürk, Advisor to the Board, Global Compact Turkiye, Tamar Sabedashvili, National Programme Officer, UN Women Georgia, Erika Kvapilova, Country Representative, UN Women Georgia, Giorgi Kadagidze, Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Georgia, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia and IMF Governor for Georgia, Derya Özet Yalgı, Garanti Bank Turkey, Sustainability Supervisor, Nino Zambakhidze, Chairperson of the Georgian Farmers’ Association. Photo: UN Women / Maka Gogaladze
The principles were presented to the representatives of the Georgian private sector, civil society, and government representatives by colleagues from Turkey; Ms. Deniz Öztürk, Advisor to the Board of the Global Compact Turkey presented on the 7 key principles for women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. Oztürk also shared the experience of Turkey and presented on the recently established Women’s Empowerment Working Group, a multi-stakeholder initiative of business (large, SME and business associations) and non-business (Ministry of Family and Social Affairs, Ministry of Labour, Civil Society, Universities and Cities). The working group is a joint effort of Global Compact Turkey, the Turkish Confederation of Employers Associations’ (TISK), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Women Regional Center for Europe and Asia (ECA) in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ms. Derya Özet Yalgı, Sustainability Supervisor, Garanti Bank Turkey, further elaborated on the implementation of the WEPs by her company, sharing details of the services developed as well as monitoring and reporting frameworks put in place to ensure successful implementation of the WEPs.
The opening remarks were made by Mr. Giorgi Kadagidze, Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia and IMF Governor for Georgia: “we need to take these principles onboard not only because this is the right thing to do as we strive towards greater gender equality and women’s empowerment, but also, because adhering to these principles is profitable and will advance private sector and contribute to the development of the Georgian economy at large” stated Mr. Kadagidze. Opening remarks were made also by Ms. Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Representative in Georgia and Ms. Nino Zambakhidze, Chairperson of the Georgian Farmers’ Association.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of senior management of insurance companies (Aldagi, Irao and the IC Group), the joint stock company Georgian Railway, the largest national broadcasting company (Rustavi2), Georgian retail company (Goodwill), the Georgian Co-investment Fund, the Georgian Women Business Association, the Georgian Employers’ Association, along with the Office of the Prime Minister, ILO, FAO, UNDP and others.