Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence


Date: Monday, December 7, 2015

Presentation of men's movement "CHVEN" Men Against Violence;
Photo: UN Women/Maka Gogaladze
“Violence against women and girls concerns us, both you and I. This is not only a problem for women or men. This is a shared problem! And if we want to make a change, we need to take action. We believe that the time has come for men to take responsibility for building a healthy society, where there is no place for violence or gender-based discrimination!” This is the key message of a new social movement - “CHVEN (WE) – Men Against Violence", which has united prominent Georgian men.

Launched on 7 December 2015, the new men’s movement aims to support the fight against domestic violence (DV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG), while also seeking to contribute to the achievement of gender equality in Georgia. The founders of the movement are men who have been collaborating with UN Women for the last 5 years and who are involved in its public awareness campaigns ("UNiTE to End Violence against Women" and "HeForShe") promoting zero tolerance towards VAWG/DV and men’s engagement in achieving gender equality. They are also actively engaged in various activities aimed at educating men and boys on gender equality and VAWG/DV issues.

Inspired by the UN Women’s "He For She Campaign", former rugby players Nono Andghuladze and Lekso Gugava have gathered like-minded men athletes, writers, artists, businessmen and others to found the new civil movement to fight VAWG and contribute to the achievement of gender equality through working with youth, conducting awareness raising initiatives, sports activities and other interventions (click here for the video).

Nono Andghuladze says, “We continue the fight we started 5 years ago, we just decided to expand it. We have attended special trainings on how to deliver the message on gender equality to young guys. We want all men to make contributions in their own spheres of influence. We want to cover all areas, and to do this in an organized way; to ensure awareness is raised among the wider population.”

“I was in Stockholm with a group of young Georgian men, who decided to found a women’s rights organization in Georgia and it makes a lot of sense (to me) that this idea belongs to our rugby-players. Participating in the Stockholm seminar with such a decent group of successful people as the Georgian rugby-players was a great honor for me; and men of other professions have also joined this wonderful initiative in Georgia” says famous writer and CHVEN member, Dato Turashvili, in his article ‘Stockholm Diaries’ on his impressions of one such training in Stockholm, Sweden, conducted by famous speakers against VAWG and sexism, Michael Kaufman and Jackson Katz (click here for the full article).

“Violence is not only the victim’s or the perpetrator’s problem. It is a social problem affecting the whole of society. We want to contribute to building a better society for us and our future generations. Our target audience is mostly students and the youth,” says Lekso Gugava.

The doors of the civic movement "CHVEN" ("WE") are open to any person willing to join who shares the values of the organization.