Georgian Trade Unions Confederation congratulates on March 8

Georgian Trade Unions Confederation Congratulations on International Women’s Day!

In light of the current events in Ukraine, we especially congratulate the Ukrainian women who are heroically fighting for the homeland, life and rights.

Every woman’s labour or  any other right in the world must be properly protected. March 8 was declared an official holiday to demonstrate the strength, fighting ability and courage of women.

With the initiative and active involvement of our organization, a number of changes have been made in the labour legislation to ensure the guarantee and enforcement of women’s labour rights. However, measures taken to promote gender equality are insufficient. As a result, gender equality and women’s labour rights remain a major challenge in Georgia.

Measures taken to combat the Covid pandemic have had a direct impact on finances, and women have become an even more vulnerable group due to economic oppression.

The negative impact of the pandemic on women continued in 2021, as it did in 2020. The number of employed women will decrease by 42 thousand in 2020. In 2021, compared to 2019, 52,400 fewer women were employed. Unemployment among women increased by 1.8% compared to 2019 and reached 17.8%.

Economic activity of women is still low and falls  behind men by 22.4%.

The difference between the salaries of women and men (32.4%) remains a significant problem. Against this background, the state still does not have a methodology for estimating the value of labour and a decent minimum wage, which would ensure a reduction in wage inequality.

Remuneration for maternity leave (except for public servants) is still limited to GEL 1,000 in state aid, which is significantly lower than even the subsistence level set by the state.

The practice of Trade Unions Confederation shows that cases of discrimination against women in the workplace, including pregnancy or other family responsibilities, are still frequent.

The representation of women in decision-making, leadership positions remains low.

There is also a growing trend of poverty among women. Among the beneficiaries of subsistence allowance are 355 thousand (55% of the total number) women.

The real picture in the country is much heavier than these data, especially for women employed in the informal sector who do not even have access to basic labour guarantees.

In view of the above, it is essential that the state take effective steps to ensure the protection of women’s labor rights, including:

  • Determine decent remuneration for maternity leave for all employees and Georgia ratify ILO Conventions 156 (On Employees with Family Obligations) and 183 (on Maternity Protection);
  • Ratify ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment;
  • Set a decent minimum wage in accordance with the international standards;
  • Establish unemployment benefits;
  • Develop a methodology for measuring / valuing labour cost;
  • Take measures to formalize informal employment;
  • Strengthen investment in the care economy