Public Defender and UN Women hold online conference on femicide prevention and monitoring

Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Nino Lomjaria, Public Defender attending femicide monitoring and prevention online conference. Photo: The Public Defender’s Office
Nino Lomjaria, Public Defender attending femicide monitoring and prevention online conference. Photo: The Public Defender's Office

Femicide remains a significant challenge for Georgia. According to the findings of the monitoring carried out by the Public Defender, problems still persist in connection to this topic, including stereotypical attitudes towards victims, the proper qualification of cases and the designation of such crimes as gender-based.

These were among the issues discussed by the participants at the online conference “Prevention and Monitoring of Femicide” held on 24 November by the Public Defender of Georgia, with the support of UN Women within the framework of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The event aimed to discuss local and international monitoring practices that exist to prevent gender-based killings of women (femicide).

The Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, remarked in her welcoming speech: “The Public Defender of Georgia has established a femicide monitoring mechanism based on the recommendation produced in 2015 by Dubravka Šimonović, UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. We have already drafted five special reports since 2016 and have issued a number of recommendations, some of which have been implemented already.”

Ms. Šimonović delivered a speech at the event, reviewing international mechanisms and successful practices employed by various countries in the fight against femicide. In addition, the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia, Sabine Machl; the Swedish Ambassador to Georgia, Ulrik Tideström; and the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Human Rights and Gender Equality, Lela Akiashvili, addressed the conference.

“The targets of femicide are women, and the perpetrators are men,” noted Mr. Tideström. “Such killings are committed by partners or ex-partners and are the result of persistent domestic violence... The femicide monitoring mechanism is important to prevent this horrendous crime. As a man, I would like to emphasize that gender equality is not an objective to be achieved just for women; ending gender-based violence and femicide is not just a problem for women - this is a common concern for all.”

It should be noted that according to the data of the Office of the General Prosecutor of Georgia, during the first nine months of 2020 (from January through September), 19 cases of femicide were reported, 12 of which included elements of domestic crime, while the remaining seven cases had other motives. In addition, there were 20 attempted femicide cases, 11 of which were committed on the grounds of domestic crime.

The Office of the Public Defender of Georgia has been monitoring femicide since 2016, with the support of UN Women and within the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, implemented with the generous funding of the Government of Sweden.