The Society Does Not Want Those Who Speak with Hatred in Politics – Tamar Kordzaia

Tamar Kordzaia, one of the first Georgian politicians, that comes to mind when talking about the queer community and the protection of their rights. In the run-up to the election, Queer contacted her and asked her what she thought of ethics and gender councils, sexual harassment and ways to address the issues of the queer community.

“The biggest problem of the LGBT community is overcoming alienation and fear in the society. If the fear of alienation is overcome, I think, then there will be no more such problems, although it is very difficult to overcome. We still do not realize that their free presence in society poses no threat. They do not want to see this because these stereotypes are supported by false information that is spread, they feed on this fear of the society, and the mechanisms against it are weak. Some political parties now realize that they already need to take a step back and not fall prey to the vote. I remember Nika Melia behaving very well, coming out and saying that he did not want the votes of the oppressors.

The Ethics Council is, in practice, inactive, even though, in my opinion, it has a lot to do in this Parliament. I have personally applied for membership in the Ethics Council. As for the Gender Equality Council, it wrote down plans and they seem to have implemented them, but in reality these plans are also just for show. These plans are being written, but we see that nothing is being done. When the Gender Equality Council has a chairperson who sees no problem in the fact that his or her male co-worker touches his female co-worker and justifies this man, it is impossible to have gender sensitivity. There is a woman trustee in the parliament. Why? Because if a woman behaves unjustly or breaks a rule, a trusted woman should come to her and not a trusted man. Consequently, having no response to the violation of these standards and, conversely, believing that a woman has misbehaved, I do not believe in those gender council reforms.

In addition, we have a lot of changes in the legislation, NGOs are working hard to improve these laws. The law on sexual harassment has been amended, but in reality nothing is being done to establish institutional mechanisms to respond to sexual harassment in public institutions. The mechanism is effective only when you can talk about it in public and not lose your job. The internal mechanism has been adopted by two organizations – the Civil Service Bureau and the State Inspector Service. There are shortcomings as well, but the main thing is that at least two agencies have expressed their will.

Unfortunately, we do not have such mechanisms in the parliament, through which they will be able to respond legally to cases of sexual harassment on the principle of confidentiality. The existence of a gender equality or ethics council alone is not enough. For example, the Ethics Council refers to the actions of a Member of Parliament, but there are numerous positions in Parliament that people hold. Is it possible for the Gender Equality Council to initiate this in the Parliament, to create an screening tool for sexual harassment? If a person is harassed at work, her life is ruined and then her voice is removed, it is not effective to develop mechanisms against sexual harassment in the state. The main purpose is not to punish the harasser as an example and impose some fines. The main goal is for a person to be able to protect his or her rights in a way that does not require restoration.

All self-governing bodies are obliged to have an officer who will work on gender equality issues and all issues will be examined by this person in the context of gender equality. When I reviewed and started to study this, the ineffective mechanism often did not work and you do not even understand this mechanism. The Gender Equality Council did not vote when the Electoral Code was amended. The only one we should rely on is the Constitutional Court, which said that 1 in 3 should be of the opposite sex when voting. All this means that we do not have progress in this direction, we have the same situation as we had then, for example, in 2015.

It is a model for me when Nino Bolkvadze participated in the elections – she came out and said who she was and what she wanted to do. Turned out to be much smarter and more qualified, ethical, attacks in moderation and doesn’t get angry, she was ready unlike other politicians. It is true that she did not succeed, but neither did those who came to politics with homophobia.

For example, the last was Vato Shakarashvili. The public does not want in politics those who speak with hatred. If you come to politics for progress, you have to go for construction, and when you come for hatred and destruction, even, for the destruction of one person’s life, if you say that someone should sit at home and not come out, you are ruining that someone’s life. That is why society does not want it internally, it can be seen and confirmed. ”

Author: Tamar Kutateladze

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