Traders, housewives, teachers… the women of Marneuli from all backgrounds started coming to the polling stations in the early hours of October 8 to vote for their parliament candidates
. Divided into two election districts with 89 polling stations, Marneuli had a total voter turnout by the end of the elections of 43%. Newscafe shares the responses of seven people from both genders to find out the importance of the elections for local women in the largest municipality of Kvemo-Kartli region. The women in this predominantly Azerbaijani-populated municipality are hopeful of the results of the elections. For them, the future of their children is a priority.
“We are really hopeful of the results of the elections. There is a need for changes in social welfare, primarily in free education and healthcare,” says 45-year-old housewife Zemfira Huseynova, who thinks that social security policy standards and employment issues are the main duties of the future parliament. Many women like her came to the elections before the incidents and the clashes that happened later that day at a polling station not far from downtown Marneuli.
Marziyya Javadova, a 63-year-old history teacher of the Dashtapa Secondary School, says awareness and activeness among woman is important, “I encouraged all my colleagues at school to vote for their candidate. It is really important for us to make a choice” said Javadova, who believes in a bright future of her region.
“I will vote for the one who is considered to be the best according to my husband,” said a local trader in the marketplace, who refused to give her name. Several women in this southeastern municipality of Georgia would not give their own opinions.
Roza Abramya,n who works as a sujuki trader in the marketplace, thinks that not agreeing with her husband`s ideas could cause a conflict in the family. She says her husband`s choices are a priority and she thinks that it is common in her town.
For a grandfather of two Ahmed Bayandurov, patriarchal dominance is also important. He thinks that a wife has to obey her husband and follow his choices, otherwise there could be small problems in the families, which could actually turn into big ones.
Not far from Bayrandurov's shop was a young trader who said that he was an active observer of the elections. “Women are more important than men in different situations," 27-year-old Ramiz Davudov said. He thinks that women`s participation in the parliamentary elections is important. He believes interfering in others' opinions never works out and it is impossible to prevent women from voting for the candidate whom they support. He says there are many men his age in the region who think this way and he justifies that by the constant personal growth of the youth.
Rovshan Darvishov, who works in an electronic shop, also think the elections are important. He believes that the activeness of women is a new trend and it creates a chance for the female population to be aware of their rights, especially while having a female MP candidate – Samira Ismailova from neighboring Bolnisi which in Kvemo Kartli.
Female voters were asked whether they voted independently or were ordered to vote for someone. Most of them responded that they have one aim: to have a better future and complete integration into Georgian society and equal rights with Georgians. They believe that their representative in the Parliament will solve the issues that concerned them under past governments.