07TBILISI2560, Georgia’s Woman of Courage Nominee 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2560 2007-10-11 11:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6872
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2560 2841140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111140Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7891
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 002560 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, G/IWI 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KWMN GG
SUBJECT: Georgia's Woman of Courage Nominee 2008 
 
REFERENCE:  STATE 126072 
 
1.  Post's nominee for the International Woman of Courage Award is 
Marina Tabukushvili, artist, civil society activist, and chairman of 
the Georgian NGO TASO.  Nominee is willing to be considered for the 
award and agrees if selected to travel to Washington DC. 
Biographical data requested in reftel is below. 
 
A. Full Name: Marina (No Middle Name)Tabukushvili 
B. Job Title: General Director, TASO Foundation 
C: Date of Birth: August 22, 1951 
D: Country of Birth: Georgia 
E: Citizenship: Georgian 
F: Telephone: (995 32) 92 05 95 
G: Address: 15 Rezo Tabukushvili St, Tbilisi 0108 
H: Email: marina@taso.org.ge 
I: Passport Number:  GEO 05AB24937 
 
----------------------- 
The Person and Her Role 
----------------------- 
 
2.  Tabukushvili has been a powerful advocate for women's issues 
within the Caucasus region for more than 15 years.  She began work 
with the Soros Foundation Open Society Program more than 10 years 
go, addressing principally women's and children's issues, which led 
to her current affiliation with the Anti-Violence Network.  In 2007, 
she established her own NGO to research and record women's oral 
histories throughout the former Soviet space.  The purpose of the 
project is to decrease the gap between ethnic and religious 
minorities and Georgian majority by listening to what women 
belonging to different ethnic and religious classes have to say. 
The project aims to deconstruct the "otherness" of these women 
through understanding their humanness, pain and joy.  Tabukushvili 
has improved the lives of Caucasian women, not just Georgian women, 
by addressing culturally cross-cutting issues such as trafficking, 
domestic violence and the gap between ethnic and religious 
minorities and the Georgian majority.  Her role has been one of 
researcher, activist, and enabler, cementing consensus among private 
and government entities to yield concrete and measurable results on 
these non-negotiable demands of human dignity.  Resolving many of 
these issues, especially domestic violence, has been exceedingly 
difficult, due to a strong sense of honor and shame that has made 
decision makers reluctant to recognize it in a public forum. 
 
--------------------------- 
Combating Domestic Violence 
--------------------------- 
 
3. Tabukushvili was one of five Georgian activists trained on family 
violence and child abuse at the Open Society Institute in Budapest 
in 2000.  She returned home resolute to address both issues.  She 
uses a multilateral approach to bring an end to domestic violence 
through formulating legislation, heightening public awareness, 
training judges and police and addressing the practical issues of 
housing and referring victims. 
 
-------------------- 
How She Gets Results 
-------------------- 
 
4.  As an implementer for the Soros Foundation, Tabukushvili was a 
force multiplier in bringing practical experience to the Georgian 
Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) draft legislation to combat 
trafficking and address domestic violence, and now in fulfilling the 
stipulations of the Anti-Domestic Violence Action-Plan. Tabukushvili 
increases public awareness of women's issues by networking with 
women journalists, promoting publication of women's and children's 
rights' cases and coordinating closely with the Ombudsman's Office 
to investigate and resolve documented violations.  She has been 
instrumental in bringing experts from the Minnesota Advocates for 
Human Rights to train family court judges from Georgia's remote 
regions, where domestic violence cases are more frequent.  She was 
one of the first to recognize the value of training police in how to 
respond to family domestic calls, arranging for some of the first 
ever workshops to address this deficiency.  Tabukushvili played a 
large role in creating the Anti-Violence Network in each of the ten 
regions of Georgia, informally building a savvy nexus of 
professionals who understand and give meaningful assistance to 
victims.  Together with Nato Shavladkadze, she sought and gained 
funding through international organizations to establish the first 
and still the only women's shelter in Tbilisi in 2004.  Tabukushvili 
is a positive example of an ordinary citizen who takes on 
controversial and often unpopular issues but addresses them in an 
effective way so that its affect reverberates through all levels of 
society. 
 
5.  Political Officer Joye Davis-Kirchner is post's point of 
contact.  Her contact information is (995) 32 277620, 
Davis-KirchnerJL@state.gov. 
Tefft

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