Although all the three countries of the South Caucasus signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in the 90s, de jure and especially de facto improvements so far obtained are still far from being satisfactory.
Women's rights are insufficiently secured and protected in the law and hardly considered in national policy-making agendas. Such omissions reflect the more general lack of social awareness concerning what constitutes gender discrimination. On the whole, women’s concerns remain largely neglected in official policies, the media and public discussion.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation initiates and supports projects to empower women and promote gender democracy.
Within this framework, the work of the Heinrich Böll Foundation mainly focuses on the following issues:
- Political education programmes aimed at increasing the involvement of women in decision- and peace-making processes on the local and national policy levels.
- Discussions and other events that cultivate awareness-building regarding the engagement of women’s initiatives in political and social issues on the local and regional levels.
- Exchange of experience in order to compare gender roles in Islamic and Orthodox Christian societies, e.g. with the participation of women from Georgia, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, or the Balkans.
- Innovative methods in the fields of historical and women’s studies, in order to foster sustainable empowerment and gender balance.