Women are direct victims of war – Nino Chipchiuri

Nino Chipchiuri, conflict reporter and activist, Georgian Media Group.

Across the world, women human rights defenders continue to call for justice, peace, and gender equality – despite facing immense challenges. Still, or maybe because of that, they continue to fight. This week, we commemorate the International Women Human Rights Defenders Day 2023 and celebrate the remarkable work carried out by women human rights defenders worldwide.

Nino Chipchiuri is a Georgian conflict reporter and activist. She is a co-founder and runs the civil society organisation Georgian Media Group, which partly works with women who live in the zones of conflict near the occupation line in Georgia.

Life living in a conflict area

“Georgian women are direct victims of war. The territories where the military bases are located now were once homes of Georgian citizens. They had to start their lives over. Some women were pregnant or giving birth when they had to leave their homes because of the war”, says Nino Chipchiuri.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, two regions are now occupied. In the conflict region, there is an occupation line, which could be described as a kind of buffer zone where smaller villages and military bases are on top of each other. Nino describes what the lives of women living in these villages are like.

“We have statistics that say that 500 women were arrested for crossing the so-called occupation line.

This is a big problem for them since the occupation line goes through their homes and sometimes even through their gardens.

“They are highly affected by the political situation and cannot express their thoughts and opinions publicly even though they have a lot to say to our citizens and the world. They cannot get higher education, they cannot travel, et cetera.”

Moving forward

Nino Chipchiuri describes what the lives of women living in these villages are like.

“Civil Rights Defenders is a well-known partner for these women. Working together with Civil Rights Defenders was a great opportunity for us to observe and find new ways of solving the challenges women face in our country. We mobilised women activists and created a security hub that gives women a chance to grow and have a safer situation.”

Nino says they are hoping for support from the EU.

“They are citizens of Georgia, but this conflict puts them in a different reality. Our main goal is to reach out to them. They do not want war. They want their children to live in peace. For 15 years, these women have needed psychosocial support and economic empowerment to be able to take care of the next generation.”

Read more

Read more about the remarkable work carried out by some women human rights defenders worldwide here.

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