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Gender-biased sex selection (GBSS) in favor of boys is an indicator of gender discrimination and highlights the inequality towards girls throughout many countries. Patriarchal structures reinforce a preference for sons and perpetuate a societal climate of violence and discrimination against women and girls. GBSS is moreover a symptom of the pervasive social, political, cultural, and economic injustices against women and girls. While, declining rates of fertility, and rapid technological developments that allow prenatal sex selection, have also further exacerbated these practices.

Since its independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia has experienced a significant rise in the number of male births over girls. A comprehensive countrywide report (2017), produced by UNFPA Georgia alongside the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat), reveals that after reaching historically high levels in 2004 (115 boys per 100 girls), the sex ratio at birth (SRB) started to decline. This is certainly a positive direction towards greater gender equality, however, due to the notable preference for sons, most families in Georgia still wish to have at least one male child.

This study explores the factors behind the improvements in Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) in Georgia over the last 15 years. It combines quantitative and qualitative analysis. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, and econometric analysis have highlighted the following determinants of SRB improvements: improved economic conditions, reduced poverty, increasing the economic share of the service sector (creating new job opportunities for women in banking, retail trade and other
office-related jobs), higher female employment (outside the agricultural sector), increased male educational attainment, and changes in socio-cultural and gender value systems. There is, however, insufficient evidence to suggest social policy
measures have had a significant impact in reducing Gender Biased Sex Selection (GBSS).

The Government of Georgia (GoG) is determined to foster the internationalization of the Georgian higher education system and to ensure that all Georgian citizens have access to high quality higher education, to support their individual and professional development and to improve their access to better employment opportunities. These ambitious goals have been enshrined in three strategic objectives included in the “Unified Strategy for Education and Science for 2017-2021” (USES):

Strategic objective 1. Further modernization of higher education system, promotion of internationalization and improvement of quality;

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