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The Inter-religious Dialogue on the prevention of Violence against Women and Harmful Practices took place in Tbilisi

25 April 2018

On April 25 the Inter-Religious Dialogue on the prevention of Violence against Women and Harmful Practices was organized as a collaborative effort among the Inter-agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence Issues, the Union Century 21st and the UNFPA Country Office in Georgia.

The findings of the recent researches conducted on Violence against Women and Harmful Practices were presented at the meeting in order to facilitate the evidence-based dialogue regarding the role of religious community in preventing and eliminating violence and harmful practices against women and girls. 

Violence and harmful practices against women and girls still remain a major challenge in Georgia. During the recent years the Government has been very active in setting the policies and plans for prevention and elimination of violence and harmful practices against women and girls. The Parliament has adopted amendments to the Civil Code of Georgia and raised the minimum age for marriage registration up to the age of 18 without any exceptions; Female Genital Mutilation is regarded as a criminal offense by law; the Law on Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence and Protection and Support to its Victims is effective in full force.

Changing attitude of communities and the entire society towards the violence and harmful practices against women and girls is as important as the policy and legislative measures introduced by the government. Religious unions can play important role in this regard.

The conference was a continuation of the initiative launched in 2016 by the Union Century 21st and the UNFPA/Georgia that aimed at increasing support of religious associations to prevention and elimination of early/child marriage. Two forums were organized under the aegis of the Inter-religious Council, and in collaboration with the Administration of Muslims of All Georgia, the informative meetings for the local Muslim religious leaders were conducted in Kakheti on the prevention of Early/Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. At the conference organized in 2017 the Administration of Muslims of All Georgia adopted a powerful official Statement that urges Muslim leaders to support the elimination of Early/Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting which harms girls, their families, communities and society at large, and hinders the  sustainable development of the country.

The members of Inter-Religious Council, representatives of legislative and executive authorities, international and local organizations, and diplomatic corps participated in the Dialogue.