ISET research on women’s economic empowerment
Friday, 09 July, 2021

Our latest online presentation highlighted women’s rights in Georgia and crucially considered their role in employment, childcare, and within society. ISET began research on our latest regulatory impact assessment (RIA) in 2019 and concluded at the end of last year, the subject brought to light many significant points relating to female economic empowerment and parental leave.

We would like to thank Tamila Barkalaia, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, who kindly offered her views on ISET’s latest research on economic empowerment. She underscored how women’s economic activity has regularly been hampered and that, without change, women will continue to lag behind men. The deputy minister continued to point out that by assisting women in the workplace, offering maternity protection, and considering anti-discriminatory practices and the government’s role in protecting women in the labor market, Georgia can make significant improvements in the protection of women’s rights.

Giorgi Mzhavanadze, one of ISET’s key researchers, moved on to present the findings of the critical RIA – created under various economists, policymakers, and lawyers, alongside stakeholder contribution and literature reviews. Considering the financial and socio-economic implications of changes in legislation, he emphasized women’s restrained engagement and participation in the workforce; due in part to governance, traditional roles, and childcare, but also a lack of activity in the labor market. With improvements in governmental funding, support from employers, and stronger legal backing, societal changes and economic empowerment may become sustainable. He went on to note that the current state of maternity protection and parental leave are still problematic. For instance, only female public officials (civil servants) have the right to a fully paid maternity leave, with the maximum compensation for other employed women remaining at 1000 GEL. However, there are also ongoing issues with paternity leave, as a layer of double discrimination pressures men away from taking leave. ISET’s RIA thus showed the options for change and offered suggestions for future policy.

ISET would like to thank all participants of this vital presentation and all its researchers for their notable, longstanding work in the field. We are also hopeful that under this latest RIA many significant socioeconomic will be addressed, and that women’s rights, maternity protection, healthcare implications, and paternity leave will each improve into the future.