Gender equality as a way to sustainability

Ecological and social sustainability requires an equal and inclusive society

Around the world, the parliamentary arm of the green movement has its strength in the broad support from the civil society and its strong grass roots, which share the same view on the need for systemic change. In many countries, the green parties gets both praise and criticism from the green part of the civil society. This help them to reach out with the green ideas, and to find incentives to sharpen their green policies even more.

Just think about the uphill struggle that would be faced for the green issues if there would be no organizations as Greenpeace, Friends of the earth etc. that could shape public opinion and contribute to the creation of independent ideas. Just as the workers movement is essential for the social democracy, the green movement is essential for green policy.

Members of the Georgian Young Greens (GeYG) say that the broad support from civil society that exists in other places such as Sweden, doesn’t exist to the same extent in Georgia. There are plenty of supporters of a better environment and clean air, the fight against deforestation and littering. However, there is a lack of systemic critique and alternative models, which is central for the parliamentary arm of the green movement. Especially when it comes to the holistic view of society, where ecological and social sustainability requires an equal and inclusive society. Therefore, at the same time as there is a need for GeYG to sharpen their concrete policies, they have to spread their ideas into a solid grass root movement, for inclusion and capacity as a green movement.

Alla Parunova is the spokesperson for GeYG, but she also runs the feminist working group of the organization that is supposed to strengthen their capacity as a feminist actor. To the question about why GeYG is such important for Georgia, especially due to the fact that they are one of few organizations that focus on gender issues, she says:

-We are important for Georgia, first of all because of the political vision, which highlights the importance of holistic analyses of the society. That makes the fight against an oppressive system more inclusive to such categories as gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, etc. It is also crucial to mention that GeYG is a feminist organization and we try to show the importance of intersectionality of categories that create new discourses on feminism in the Georgian society.

Especially when it comes to gender issues and feminism, GeYG are relative alone in Georgia as regards the inclusion of these aspects, which is essential for the green ideology. This shows that the GeYG are much needed. They are a voice that can connect the idea of a sustainable society with the inclusion of everyone, which is essential for sustainability. Sustainability requires trust, and if the opportunities are different from people to people, there are no sustainability to talk about. People in Georgia are, for good reasons, skeptical to politics in general. Therefore, GeYG is such an important actor for inclusiveness and progressiveness in a context where other organizations avoid questions such as gender and feminism. GeYG wants to strengthen an inclusive movement at the grass root level, which could be a requirement for sustainability, in the relation between social and ecological structures.

/Per Lundberg, Green Forum intern