In Cooperation with the Government of Georgia and UNFPA, The Body Shop Will Engage in the Work to Prevent Early/Child Marriage

10 June 2020

Within the framework of the Agreement reached between the United Nations Population Fund, Georgia Country Office and the Company Body Shop, in cooperation with the Administration of the Government of Georgia, The Body Shop will get engaged in efforts to end early/child marriage. The Company will allocate special scholarships for adolescent girls who were or are facing the risk of early marriage.
There was a meeting held among the stakeholders on June 8th, 2020, participated by: Lela Akiashvili – The Prime Minister's Advisor on Human Rights and Gender Equality, Lela Bakradze – Head of the UNFPA Georgia Country Office, Irina Adeishvili – Head of Marketing at The Body Shop Georgia and Keti Kozmanashvili – General Manager of The Body Shop Georgia.
“We are glad that the organization The Body Shop is joining the initiative to protect the women’s rights in Georgia within the frameworks of responsible business and corporate social responsibility.” – said Lela Akiashvili, - in cooperation with UNFPA and The Body Shop, we have joined our efforts to combat domestic violence amid the COVID-19 crisis. But now we are launching a new initiative aimed at preventing the child marriage through women’s economic empowerment. For years, together with legislative amendments, the state has been carrying out regular activities for the prevention of early/child marriage, and strengthened the mechanisms to respond to it. However, until there is even one child facing the risk of child marriage, we should continue our work. I hope we will implement many other important initiatives in cooperation with UNFPA and The Body Shop.”
“UNFPA Georgia Country Office is actively cooperating  with The Body Shop - a company that openly supports the gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women,” – said Lela Bakradze – “for many years, it has been our priority to advocate for the prevention and elimination of child/early and forced marriage; we think it is important to unite our partners and mobilize our resources as much as possible to address this issue, so that every adolescent girl has an opportunity to realize her potential, and the society does not lose them as valuable human resources.”
“For us, as a brand that has always been advocating for women’s rights, this is a very important initiative and we are happy to take specific steps for the prevention of early marriage together with our partners,” – Irina Adeishvili, Head of Marketing at The Body Shop Georgia.
Harmful practice of early/child marriage remains to be a significant challenge in Georgia, which is a gendered phenomenon: 13.9 percent of women aged 20-24 got married before the age of 18 whereas this rate is 0.5 among men. Early/child marriage heavily affects the lives of both girls and boys, but it has an especially harmful impact on the girls, who happen to have limited opportunities to enjoy their rights and fully develop their potential. The fight against this complex problem can bring about the result only if a multisectoral approach is employed, through changing social norms, and developing and empowering adolescents.
The initiative to be implemented within the framework of the partnership between UNFPA Georgia Country Office and The Body Shop, in cooperation with the Government of Georgia, aims at promoting the economic empowerment of adolescent girls and making it clear to the public that the full realization of girls’ potential, creation of equal conditions and equitable environment for them, access to education and healthcare are crucial for the prosperity and development of every country, that every girl should be given an opportunity to complete her education and to make informed decisions about her own life and health.