The strategic goals of the Culture Strategy 2025, approved in 2016, include “Access to Culture and Cultural Diversity.
“Goal: Culture is accessible to all members of society and the freedom of cultural expression is safeguarded.
2.2. Objective: All members of the society, including vulnerable groups, youth and minorities are actively engaged in cultural life and have access to the cultural infrastructure and resources.
Tasks: Ensure that principles of gender equality are taken into account during the planning and implementation of cultural policy, use the potential of culture to foster gender equality.”
In 1996, Georgia acceded to the International Convention on Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, adopted on 29 June 1951 by the General Conference of the International Labour Organization, arranged by the Administrative Council of the International Labour Bureau. However, according to the available statistical data, the average remuneration of women engaged is only 63% of the rate of remuneration of men engaged in the same sphere. At the same time, according to Geostat (in 2020) https://www.geostat.ge/ka , this imbalance in the field of arts, entertainment and recreation in Georgia is minimal.
Among the Ministry staff, the number of women in positions of responsibility is decreasing: in 2004, out of 118 employees of the Ministry, 70 were women (59%); in 2005, out of 151 employees, only 81 are women (54%).
Until 2021, all ministers of culture were men and only one of the deputy ministers (20%) was a woman; from heads of 10 departments, 5 were women (50%).
After the October parliamentary elections in 2020, the first woman (who previously held the position of the Minister of Justice) became the Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth and a Vice Prime Minister in the “Georgian Dream” Government. All her deputy ministers are men.
Also, women are appointed to the positions of the Minister of Education and Culture of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (de jure) and the Minister of Education Culture and Sport of Ajaria Autonomous Republic.
According to GEOSTAT data, as of 2020, 2027 women (70%) and only 909 men (30%) are employed in museums. Among theatre workers – the number of women (50.4%), and men (49.6%) is almost equal (3963 employees in total).
A great number of women are employed as librarians (99%). Out of total 3 325 employees of libraries 3 305 are women (according to 2008 data).
There is no more precise statistical data relating to the employment of women in the sphere of culture.
According to the GEOSTAT data, as of 2020, women have mostly received higher education in education, arts and humanities. In 2019, the number of female teachers was 55 000, which is 6.5 times higher than the number of male teachers. Women outnumber men in vocational and higher education institutions, although gender difference is not so critical there.
In 2017, in accordance with the Culture Strategy 2025, raising public awareness on gender equality has been highlighted by:
- Supporting thematic projects on gender equality
- Supporting women’s creative activities
There are general awareness programmes on gender equality that are implemented by the non-governmental sector and the state (see the Parliamentary Gender Equality Council plans), UN Women’s Projects.
In 2017 the survey “Pilot Scheme for Monitoring Implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” was conducted (Project by YTA Union). According to the survey, the challenges are as follows:
- The issue of gender equality in cultural legislation is reflected very generally; specifically, women’s cultural rights, including the right to express their creativity, are not covered.
- Gender projects in culture are available as separate initiatives of non-governmental organizations and international organizations that cannot provide sustainable support for the consumption and availability of cultural goods and services by women and their involvement in and access to cultural life.
- There are no mechanisms for monitoring, evaluation and review of gender equality policy in culture; there is no research base and methodology; the efforts of NGOs in this direction are unsustainable.
In 2021 a gender survey was carried out within the project “The information-educational programme to empower women employed in the cultural field in the post-pandemic era by implementing the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” by the YTA Union.
The findings of the survey have revealed the conflicting attitudes towards gender equality:
- Covid-19 identified one of the most important common challenges as widening the gap in civic consciousness, which manifests itself in the weakening of social cohesion, solidarity and support for women.
- Women and men do not have a “competitive” attitude towards gender equality. Attitudes towards gender policies and laws are also generally positive among both genders.
- The cultural professional community is open and tolerant towards gender balance, as well as directly towards women employed in the field of culture. At the same time, the tolerant attitude of society towards gender balance is to a lesser extent converted into raising the status and role of women and stimulating leadership qualities.
- The data of various gender studies indicate the presence of a “glass ceiling”.
- The gender norms continue to influence the assessment of the professional skills of women and men, and division of occupations.