On the initiative of late Giorgi Chanturia, the leader of the National-Democratic Party, quite influential in that period, an addendum was made to Article 9 of the Georgian Constitution (adopted in 1995) guaranteeing the freedom of faith and stipulating independence of the church from the State. The addendum read as follows: "The State recognizes an exceptional role of the Georgian Orthodox Church in the history of Georgia." This phrase, that did not seem to bear any special significance, turned out to have quite serious consequences.
Each country, first of all, shall be a guarantor for exercising of his/her rights by each member of the society within its territory.
Equality of women and men depends on those in-depth changes, which should be implemented at all levels of the society, starting from local government and to the highest governmental structure.
Georgian society and government recognize significance of gender equality, as a necessary condition for sustainable development and overall realization of human potential. In this respect, special attention should be paid to status of women, particularly in those spheres, where there still persist implicit barriers and problems, are these legislative intentions or women’s equal participation in social, economic and political life of the country. It is significant that in Georgia, there were two parallel structures, operating in this sphere to achieve gender equality.
When we speak about gender equality, based on the Constitution of Georgia, we know that in Georgia equal rights, freedom and opportunities are ensured for men and women. It means that women and men have equal opportunities to make their contributions to national, political, economic, social and cultural development of the country and take equal advantages of the achievements.
Assessment of Community Development Process in Georgia
The research was conducted with support of the Norwegian Institute of International Relations and with financial assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. The objective of the program is to strengthen the research directions at NGOs and promote new and interesting researches in social sciences.
The title of this research is ‘For Assessment of Community Development Process in Georgia’. International Centre on Conflict and Negotiation (ICCN) – where I am coordinator of training division and also work with research and analysis division and gender division1 is a non-governmental research and training institution. The main focus of the organization is to support the democratic processed in the country through research and analysis and through providing capacity building services to different stakeholders.
ICCN is involved in Community development projects since 20032. At the International Center of Conflicts and Negotiations I had an opportunity to get familiar with the community development process. I have been working in Tsalka, Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki districts for more than two years. There is an ongoing program3 in Akhalkalaki District where I am a member of a training group; I have a direct contact with the community and its problems as well.
I got interested in the community development process due to many factors: first, this issue is practically not researched in Georgia. Second, there are no permanent mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of the development process, which finds its reflection not in the increase of economic indicators only.
Third, it is interesting to research the reciprocal reference of programs, which would enable us to better assess the community development process. I think it is also important to emphasize gender component more in the community development process.
It is more than ten years different organizations work in the field of development. It is worth to analyze the progress, shortcomings and lessons learned and to draw the picture of current development process.