European Centre for Minority Issues’ Working Paper #74 examines the situation of women belonging to ethnic minorities, one of the most vulnerable social groups in Georgia.
Minority women carry the double burden of belonging to frequently discriminated ethnic groups, as well as to the historically suppressed gender. Peinhopf 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 she 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 like Ossetian, Kist, Yezidi Kurdish, and 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.
About the author
Andrea Peinhopf is alumna of the University of Vienna and the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has worked as a visiting researcher at the ECMI Caucasus from November 2012 to April 2013.
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ECMI Working Papers are written either by the staff of European Centre for Minority Issues or by outside authors commissioned by the Centre. As ECMI does not propagate opinions of its own, the views expressed in any of its publications are the sole responsibility of the author concerned.
The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) is a non-partisan institution founded in 1996 by the Governments of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German State of Schleswig-Holstein.
ECMI was established in Flensburg, at the heart of the Danish-German border region, in order to draw from the encouraging example of peaceful coexistence between minorities and majorities achieved here.
ECMI’s aim is to promote interdisciplinary research on issues related to minorities and majorities in a European perspective and to contribute to the improvement of interethnic relations in those parts of Western and Eastern Europe where ethnopolitical tension and conflict prevail.