Adjara hosts the Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum in Batumi
Date: Sunday, June 16, 2019
“Opening opportunities to women in business and all sectors of society is strategic for the long term, for equity, for growth and for sustainability. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do”.
With this remark the Head of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Tornike Rizvadze, has opened a two-day forum encouraging women’s economic empowerment in Batumi.
Jointly organized by the Business Leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow” and UN Women, the forum provided information on the government grant and education opportunities available for women entrepreneurs, facilitated networking of women entrepreneurs’ experiences and provided inspirational and practical guidance to women startuppers and business owners in the form of workshop sessions.
The forum also included several outdoor activities. Batumi Central Park invited citizens to participate in various entertainment and awareness-raising games on gender issues as well as a small-scale female entrepreneur fair and information booths. UN Women’s photo exhibition of women in non-traditional sectors showcased that women in Georgia can be successful in any field or job, including those traditionally considered men’s domain, such as the maritime industry. To mark the celebration, the female students of Batumi State Maritime Academy marched together with the orchestra in Central Park.
The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) were also introduced to businesses at an evening side event during the forum. Four WEPs signatory companies - including “Euro School 2000”, the first WEPs company in Batumi - shared their experiences on promoting gender equality and invited other businesses to join the WEPs movement. Erika Kvapilova, UN Women Country Representative in Georgia, further emphasized the role of business: “The Women’s Empowerment Principles offer guidance for business to foster the advancement of women in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the community. When women are empowered and earn an income, they invest back into their families and communities. This is good for all of us. Business can bring so much to this effort.”
The forum, as part of UN Women’s campaign for women’s economic empowerment in the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, was the second in a series of three regional forums to be held in 2019. The third forum will be organized in Zugdidi. All forums are organized with the financial support of the Government of Norway and USAID.