ECMI Publications Programme
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This paper examines the situation of women belonging to ethnic minorities, one of the most vulnerable social groups in the Republic of Georgia. Minority women carry the double burden of belonging to frequently discriminated ethnic groups, as well as to the historically suppressed gender. It focuses on gender-based discrimination and violence - and the social structures and norms that cause them - as well as impediments to women's economic empowerment and political participation. First it looks at the situation of women among the Azeri and Armenians, Georgia's two largest minority groups. Domestic violence is endemic to their communities, especially in rural areas. Women take care of household and family, as dictated by social norms, but also face increasing economic pressures, especially in areas where labor migration is common. Azeri women are particularly exposed to such problems. They also suffer from the effects of early marriage and childbirth. The paper also considers women in some of the smaller minorities (Ossetian, Kist, Yezidi, Kurdish, Roma), whose situation is not as well documented as that of Azeri and Armenian women. Throughout the paper it emerges that women across different ethnic minorities face similar difficulties, and that the political and social isolation of minorities contributes to the low status of women within them.