MRA presents gender equality strategy and action plan in Samegrelo

Date: Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia (MRA) presented its Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan to representatives from civil society and women's NGOs at the Zugdidi Center for Civic Engagement in Samegrelo region.

Representatives from civil society and women's NGOs in Zugdidi discuss MRA gender equality strategy and action plan; Photo: UN Women

The MRA is one of the pioneer ministries having developed an internal Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan, mainstreaming gender in its internal policies and programmes to benefit internally displaced persons, refugees, eco-migrants and other vulnerable groups. The development of the Strategy was supported by UN Women in the framework of the project “Equal Access of IDPs to Economic Opportunities”, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with UN Women and funded by the European Union. The MRA also created an internal institutional mechanism on gender equality by appointing a Gender Adviser to the Minister, establishing an interdepartmental Gender Equality Commission, and appointing gender focal points in its regional branches.

Ms. Natia Khaindrava, Gender Adviser to the Minister, presented the MRA Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan, underlining progress, best practices and challenges of the Ministry in the implementation process. Women attending the meeting singled out the need for improved communication with the MRA. "Communication is key for us. Receiving a timely response from the Ministry should not be a problem," noted Tsitsino Bibilaia of Community Fund Egrisi. The meeting participants also raised the issue of the MRA hotline number, which is not toll-free; thus, IDPs are often unable to contact the MRA due to the high cost of mobile communications in Georgia. Ms. Khaindrava promised to follow up on the issue with the Minister.

The meeting participants agreed to hold regular meetings with the participation of the MRA, local government, NGOs and IDP women in order to improve communication about MRA and local government programmes and services.