On April 6, ISET hosted a seminary by World Bank Senior Director on Gender Ms. Caren Grown, on Gender Equality as a Smart Development Policy in Georgia. Ms. Caren Grown was invited as part of the anti-corruption course jointly organized by ISET and the NHH (the Norwegian School of Economics).
Ms. Grown discussed the relationship between economic development and gender equality in global and Georgian contexts, and the remaining gaps in both. Gender equality was reviewed in three dimensions: human endowments (health and education), economic opportunities, and voice and agency. The main motto of the seminar was, as Ms. Grown mentioned several times, “difference does not mean that we are unequal”. While presenting, Ms. Grown often referred to Norwegian examples and comparisons in order to give a better idea to students how two countries such as Georgia and Norway stand in gender equality.
The guest paid special attention to the peculiarities of the Georgian context, such as the importance and burden of care (of children and the elderly) in household and the lack of female entrepreneurship, and provided very specific policy directions to advance gender equality in the country.
The presentations were followed by a wide discussion. The students asked many questions related to cultural norms and differences and appropriate policy designs. They were particularly interested in very concrete successful examples from other countries. Ms. Grown and her colleagues from the World Bank gave comprehensive answers, and in addition, provided more details about ongoing studies at the World Bank on gender equality issues.