Project Description

The life of women in Georgia’s society is dif­fe­rent to the life of women in for­mer times. Cir­cum­stan­ces change during many epi­so­des the coun­try has gone through. What does it mean to be a woman in this time? The wish to be self­de­ter­mi­ned and inde­pen­dent con­nects women in coun­tries all over the world.

Alexandra Krauze

She is 28 years old, a hard­wor­king woman living in Tblissi. She repres­ents the gene­ra­tion of Geor­gian women who grew up in the 90’s — bet­ween war and inden­pen­dence from for­mer Soviet-Union. She is a self-deter­mi­ned per­son who learnt through out her family expe­ri­en­ces to handle with the dif­fi­cul­ties in society about being a woman in Geor­gia. Her art as a pain­ter and wri­ter reflects pro­ces­ses in gen­der issues and her own stan­ding. Alex­an­dra sup­ports human’s right, helps her mother in daily-life in com­ing over the pro­blems in rela­tion to her father.

Toma Beburishvili Alexandra’s mother

My Sashka (Alex­an­dra) does not reco­gnize aut­ho­ri­ties regar­ding to the age or edu­ca­tion… She only reco­gni­zes people as aut­ho­ri­ta­tive if they are thin­kers, talen­ted or people who have deser­ved being respect­ful somehow. That is what I have learnt from her and say­ing „NO!“ when you have to say it. I didn’t know how to say „NO!“. It was really dis­tur­bing me. I lost a lot of time to the people that had not deser­ved my time and ner­ves. Now I just can say: “We are not fri­ends, I can help you once, but do not take away my short life.“

I want to tell child­ren which do not know what a war is: That is the worst thing that can hap­pen with the coun­try or people.

My per­so­nal life hasn’t deve­lo­ped, so what? There are a lot of won­der­ful people around me and I can live without per­so­nal life. That is not import­ant. Of course, I wish it for my daugh­ter but if she won’t manage it, it’s ok. You can be happy when you feel com­ple­ted in your per­so­na­li­tity. I wish this to the whole young gene­ra­tion. If someone has no job he/she beco­mes even drag abu­ser or sla­cker and beco­mes more stu­pid. A lot of trou­bles hap­pen to them. So I want them to rea­lize!

Because of the fact that Sashka has a wide range, big spec­trum of inte­rests and demands I do not have any idea how she can achieve her suc­cess. I can only give an advice, but I don’t think she’ll lis­ten. No — she’ll lis­ten, but she will do it in her own way. She knows how to com­mu­ni­cate with people and she needs to find a job that is con­nec­ted to social issues. For exam­ple, she worked with an orga­niza­t­ion for pro­tec­ting rights of women and child­ren. I’d be very happy if she will try to pro­tect someone’s rights and help to make their life bet­ter. Not chan­ging it ins­tead of them, but giving them a chance to do it on their own way.”

Kartlis Deda 

What do you think about the sta­tue of Kart­lis Deda?

She was with the sword and wine and doing ever­y­thing: bea­ting guests with the sword or the wine — depends on a guest. But where is the man? I mean – that was doing the women. What is he doing?

Kart­lis Deda is a tired woman. She is car­ry­ing a lot of stuff — like ever­y­body, I guess. More or less the women situa­tion is chan­ging and I am happy about this. I guess, a woman should be happy. And it doesn’t mat­ter she is Geor­gian or not.

First of all: she should be happy!”

Alex­an­dra Krauze



It’s the pro­duct of the USSR. There are a lot of aspects that make this popu­lar image of Kart­lis Deda stron­ger. We are try­ing to des­troy this myth.”

Nana Pant­s­u­laia



Kart­lis Deda, she is not very femi­nin, I think, with her sword and cup she looks very strong. And she is a mother and she is a pro­tec­tor there. So she doesn’t remind us a lady, who finds her space only in a kit­chen, so she is a quite strong woman. Pro­bably, in modern times our Kart­lis Deda doesn’t need a cup of wine and sword, but books, even car keys or any other acces­soires or ele­ments that show that Geor­gian women are strong, are free, are cle­ver. So, every one of us can find our own staff to wear to show that we are the ones who have our opi­ni­ons, our strength, our cal­lings, our gifts and we are not invi­si­ble class citi­zens of the coun­try.”

Rusu­dan Gots­i­ridze



It is the sym­bol of Geor­gian how they love their mothers and how they admire her and so on. I don´t think that I have a con­nec­tion to her. But usually males have, because in Geor­gia the bonds bet­ween sons and their mother are too strong. They usually pre­fer to live with their mothers and not to go off with their wifes and live alone with them and start a new fami­liy.”

Irine Kve­l­idze


The sta­tue was erec­ted on the top of Sololaki hill in 1958, the year Tbi­lisi cele­bra­ted its 1500th anni­versary. Pro­mi­nent Geor­gian sculp­torEl­guja Amas­hu­keli desi­gned the twenty-metre alu­mi­nium figure of a woman in Geor­gian natio­nal dress. She sym­bo­li­ses the Geor­gian natio­nal cha­rac­ter: in her left hand she holds a bowl of wine to greet those who come as fri­ends, and in her right hand is a sword for those who come as enemies”1

1 Kart­lis

Rusudan Gotsiridze  First female baptist bishop in Georgia

About Rusu­dan Gots­i­ridze

She is a bishop of the Evan­ge­li­cal Bap­tist Church of Geor­gia and a women’s rights activist. She was the first female Bap­tist bishop in Geor­gia. She has advo­ca­ted against gen­der vio­lence and for women’s equa­lity, and crea­ted inter­faith dia­lo­gues to sup­port reli­gious mino­ri­ties.[3] She was also one of the first mem­bers of the reli­gious com­mu­nity in Geor­gia to publi­cly sup­port the rights of the LGBT com­mu­nity.[3] She also spoke at the 6th United Nati­ons Forum on Mino­rity Issues about reli­gious mino­ri­ties in Geor­gia.[4]

She recei­ved a 2014 Inter­na­tio­nal Women of Cou­rage award1


My name is Rusu­dan Gots­i­ridze. I am a bishop of the Evan­ge­li­cal Bap­tist Church of Geor­gia. I am 41, I have a family, two child­ren. I am minis­ters of this church since 2006.”

How is it to be a woman priest in Geor­gia?

Funny (laughs)… Well, it is not easy — chal­len­ging. But pro­bably this is the most inte­res­ting time to be a female clergy in Geor­gia. Because of various rea­sons. First of all, when you are in the reli­gious mino­rity, to be open about your reli­gion — it’s chal­len­ging. Second, when you are female clergy, female priest and even more, when you are a woman bishop it is a pro­vo­ca­tive, I must admit, and chal­len­ging and very inte­res­ting. I won’t start com­plai­ning about dif­fi­cul­ties. It is not an easy life in Geor­gia for any­body. So if I start to com­plain about gen­der issues or about mino­rity issues I wouldn’t be very inte­res­ting… So, I’d say it is chal­len­ging.”

What could you say about a typi­cal Geor­gian woman? How can you cha­rac­te­rize a typi­cal Geor­gian woman in the real life in gene­ral in our days?

We have expe­ri­en­ces of the dark 90’s in our coun­try. We have seen that when society has the most dif­fi­cult times in the coun­try, Geor­gian women can find resour­ces in them­sel­ves, strength, skills they have never knew about, to sur­vive and to help our society to sur­vive. So, I think Geor­gian women are very strong, very dedi­ca­ted and very smart and cle­ver. And this is not the cha­rac­te­ris­tics of only Geor­gian women. I think to be a woman, when you are brought up in a patri­ar­chal cul­ture, when you know what it means to be NOT in the main­stream, when you know what it means to be told that you are not the first citi­zen, you are not even the first class family mem­ber.”

What is the moti­va­tion of being strong woman here? What is the moti­va­tion for Geor­gian women to over­come all these pro­blems and if you had the pro­blems regar­ding your gen­der what was your moti­va­tion to over­come this?

Well, I think it is dif­fi­cult for me to speak about Geor­gian women in gene­rell and about the strength of all of them. But I can speak about my own moti­va­tion.

I was brought up in a pro­tes­tant family. Quite con­ser­va­tive pro­tes­tant family, where a not very much ega­li­ta­rian family, so this high patri­ar­chal hier­ar­chy was very pre­sent in my family. And I was brought up to be a very obedient, good Geor­gian woman. And pro­bably, the only moti­va­tion I found to be stron­ger and more vocal was when I found out my child­ren need pro­tec­tion. So, my stron­gest moti­va­tion were my child­ren, when I found out that to be obedient, to be quiet was not the uni­ver­sal vir­tue and that was not good always and was not good at all. So, that was my moti­va­tion. I can say only about my own story, that’s true only about my case. Because I know a lot of won­der­ful, strong, vocal Geor­gian women who are sin­gle and they found their moti­va­tion somew­here else. So, every one of us have our own story — where we find out strength to say: “enough is enough”.”


Rusu­dan Gots­i­ridze

Women’s Fund Ekaterine Gejadze & Nana Pantsulaia

About Women’s Fund

From 2005 Women’s Fund has been hel­ping to finance a lot of very import­ant pro­jects rela­ted to women and their pro­blems. From time to time, they have their own pro­jects and work­shops, also cha­rity exhi­bi­ti­ons. For exam­ple, radio pro­grams with femi­nist activists and pro­fes­sio­nal jour­na­lists.

As Nana says a new gene­ra­tion is very ins­pi­ring for the Women’s Fund and she and Eka­te­rine like their vision, per­cep­tion of the pre­sent and the future. The Women’s Fund tries to intro­duce femi­nist phil­an­thropy to the Geor­gian society.


What are the gene­ral pro­blems regar­ding the situa­tion in Geor­gia for women?

Nana: In our coun­try people used to per­ceive patri­ar­chal norms and cul­ture as our heri­tage and not as our pro­blem. Our orga­ni­sa­tion tries to des­troy ste­reo­ty­pes. Nowa­days, a woman in Geor­gia is able to rea­lize that she is under pres­sure, or dis­cri­mi­na­tion, and knows that she has a voice. It is very import­ant to know that you have sup­port somew­here, this makes you bra­ver and enables you to share your opi­nion about any kind of oppres­sion against you, as a woman.

Could you explain a typi­cal Geor­gian woman in your own words? How do you see an “aver­age Geor­gian woman”?

Nana: There is a dif­fe­rence bet­ween how we want that to be and how it is in real. Me and our fund want women to be free, happy, accom­plis­hed and whose rights are pro­tec­ted. But we know that it is only our desire right now. A Geor­gian woman is just a woman… She’s a woman with pain, cen­ten­nial oppres­sion and with a lot of work. She is over­loa­ded and some­ti­mes burnt out because she does not have any time for rest and she does not give her­self a pos­si­bi­lity to take a break. She takes a lot of res­pon­si­bi­li­ties on her­self. Even me, I do not know how to start caring about myself and how to take time for me. We have to study how not to get more than we can carry on. 

Eka­te­rine: We pro­vide space for mee­tings where femi­nist activists can gather and share their opi­ni­ons. They help each other and try to stay away from the burn out con­di­tion.

Nana Pant­s­u­laia — CEO of WOMEN’S FUND in Geor­gia

Eka­te­rine Gejadze — Pro­gramm coor­di­na­tor of WOMEN’S FUND in Geor­gia

Irine Kvelidze  Blogger about female issues in politics/religion

Q & A

I am Irina Kve­l­idze. I am 21 years old and I study psy­cho­logy at uni­ver­sity. But I work as a jour­na­list and as an trans­la­tor, too.”

We heard about your blog­ging on the web­site of What is your blog­ging about and what is your moti­va­tion?

First I star­ted when one of the edi­tors was com­ing here, just tweet it to me: “You know eng­lish, you are a blog­ger, can you start blog­ging for us? Because we want making a jour­nal blog in Geor­gia and want to recruite more jour­na­lists. So I got him like this, by Twit­ter and then I start wri­ting about church and women. Mostly my arti­cles are about hot topics and I do like ana­lyti­cal arti­cles. I just write what is going on and why it is not good or bad — some­thing like that.”

Why do you choose these topics?

Usually my edi­tor choose it. I want to start con­ti­nue wri­ting about church and about thoughts, about their state­ments. I want to write about why they are wrong and why it is not good to say those things in the com­mu­nity. They all fol­low them without thin­king.”

Can you tell us for an exam­ple in which point “they” (church) are wrong?

My arti­cles were about their state­ments that they said on christ­mas that arti­fi­ci­ally inse­mi­na­ted child­ren don‘t have souls … I wrote about this and that ever­yone should not fol­low them.”

Did you grow up very reli­gious? What is your con­nec­tion bet­ween your per­so­na­lity and reli­gion?

Actually, my family is not too reli­gious. But I have two uncles were in church, who are priests. And my mothers side belie­ves in god — very much. But they don´t tell me how to think or go to church. The last time I was in church and tal­ked to a priest was when I was 15. After that I thought I don‘t need priests to be a good per­son. And I don´t need anyone to go to hea­ven or hell. So I can go my way and I can choose my way.”

Can you please describe your life­style and what your parents/family think about your way of life?

I study at uni­ver­sity. I am a stu­dent, but not a good stu­dent, because I like working too much and don´t have time to go to lec­tures. So my gra­des are low. I like working. I work as a fre­e­lan­cer for various orga­ni­sa­ti­ons and I have a lot of pro­jects during a year. My family sup­ports me because I do my work and haven’t high salary on my work. So the money is low and they have to help me during the months. Usually in the eve­nings I am at the bar because my boy­fri­end works there and we just hang out there. It doesen´t mean that I drink, they have juice. In the begin­ning my par­ents didn´t like that I’ve been there so often, but now they know my boy­fri­end and they know that I don’t do any­thing wrong.”

What are pro­ble­ma­tic situa­ti­ons for women in geor­gian society, accord­ing tra­di­tion, accord­ing family…?

The first thing is the com­mu­nity tells you how to behave, how to live, when to get mar­ried and when to get child­ren, how to raise them and so on.

Then there are fami­lies, most of Geor­gian have strict fami­lies and par­ents, they don‘t allow them to go out after 6 or 7 pm. I think it is a pro­blem because per­sons should live their life how they want to. Because when they have pro­blems they can over­come these by them­sel­ves.

Did you have any pro­blems during your life and if, how did you over­come it and who sup­por­tes you or cri­ti­zi­ses you?

When I was a teen­ager at the begin­ning I had a very bad mood like the worst mood. I was a really pro­ble­ma­tic child, I was very stubborn and it got me to deep pro­blems. But I always want to over­come it by myself and usually I did not tell my par­ents. It was like the people were tal­king about me on my back. They were tal­king really hurtful things: they said I was pregnant when I was 12 or 11. I heard about that when I was 17 — after 5 years. I just told my father about it. I was laug­hing and I was just making fun of the people in my neigh­boorhood and my father was like: „Do you want a gun?“ Of course it was a toy gun. He was tal­king about a toy gun. I over­come by wri­ting about it. And ever­yone in my neigh­boorhood was wri­ting and was apo­lo­gi­zing. But usually both of my grand­mo­thers cri­ti­zise me but my par­ents are always by my side are really sup­por­tive.

My great grand mother — She is the most under­stan­ding per­son, she is 88 years old. No one expect from her that she would be so sup­por­tive towards to me or towards to any one of the family. The backstory of her is so impres­sive, that I am thin­king to make a pro­ject only about her and making a video how she over­came ever­y­thing. Because she was about 40 years old, when her hus­band died, my great grand father. She had 2 sons and when she gave birth to twins, girls, who died instantly when they were born. She over­came that, too. She over­came the death of my great grand father, and she over­came the death of her mother. So her backstory is so impres­sive, that nobody can over­come these things and be so fun.. I am like always tal­king about her and wri­ting about her.

Would you con­sider your­self as a femi­nist and if yes can you explain why?

I think every woman should be a femi­nist, not a radi­cal femi­nist. I don´t hate men and the radi­cals usually do. Usually the society thinks if you are a femi­nist you hate men. You want to be pre­si­dent of women or some­thing like that. I usually defend women´s rights in my fri­ends com­mu­nity, too and I write about it usually in my blog­ging in geor­gian in eng­lish, too. Ya, I am a femi­nist.”

What is your plans for future. Do you wish to be a mother one day?

In the future, of course I want to be a mother. I don´t know when or how or with who – maybe I know. In the future I want to have my own busi­ness and have my own pro­jects that I look for­ward, too. That is my first prio­rity and then family and child­ren.”


Irine Kve­l­idze

© 2016 Van­zuela / Blink / Tsno­bi­ladze