Closer Look At Ongoing Reforms And Processes In Eastern Partnership Countries. Georgia: Impact On Women Of The Situation Of Water Resources In The Kura-Aras Transboundary River Basin

07. January 2021

Summary of the findings

Most of the Kura-Aras trans-boundary basin lies within Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Cooperation in the field of joint use of water resources can improve relations between countries, but sharing water resources, especially when water is scarce, can lead to a high risk of interstate conflict. The importance of water and river basin management is recognized in the three countries; but for political reasons, no treaties were signed between the three countries. Ineffective water management has various immediate and long-term negative concerns that affect the local population, especially women. In households, the main water-providers and consumers are women, while the decision-makers and owners of water (and other) resources are men, on the local, as well as national level. This trend is more characteristic and visible in the rural areas.

A closer look at the real situation in Kvemo Kartli Region, Georgia, confirmed that women are not sufficiently taking part in managing water resources, their voices are not heard when pointing out the true situation of polluted and contaminated water, women are not engaged in addressing/offering solutions to the problems related to obtaining clean drinking water – there are insufficient efforts to involve women, especially at the managerial and technical level. At the same time. High incidence of infectious diseases is associated with poor living conditions and poor quality of food and water. Many farmers are increasingly using pesticides without being aware of the sanitary and environmental requirements when using pesticides. According to the evidence, miscarriages and premature births reached 30-40% among women in households who used pesticides, and these women also had a high incidence of gynecological diseases.

Countries and international stakeholders working in Georgia on environmental issues need to be more forthcoming about the real situation. We cannot talk about Euro-integration and the Green Agenda for Georgia without facing the facts that people are forced to drink polluted, contaminated water with worms in it. Women need to have a voice and be able to speak openly about the real issues related to the current situation with water and its impact on women, s health. Therefore, mainstreaming gender aspects into any action in this field is crucial.

The role of women in problem mitigation in water-related fields needs to be strengthened and their participation increased. This needs to be one of the primary goals for any international (and local) efforts to improve the situation – including women in the planning, design, construction and operation of various projects will make agricultural water management more efficient, competent, equitable and sustainable (Note: more detailed requests for support/ recommendations for the involvement of international stakeholders are presented below in the document).

The creation of this report is funded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Please find the full text on the following link : Georgia_Impact on Women of the Situation of Water Resources in the Kura-Aras Transboundary River Basin