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ხელები მშვიდობისთვის / Hands for Peace

EU and UNDP Foster Women’s Empowerment and Promote Community Resilience in Georgia


Women’s empowerment remains a cornerstone of sustainable development and peacebuilding in conflict-affected communities. The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the EU4Dialogue programme, are steadfast in their commitment to supporting women residing alongside Administrative Boundary Lines, bolstering their economic and social resilience, and creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, income generation, and professional advancement.

Throughout 2023 and 2024, the EU and UNDP, in partnership with local civil society organizations, municipalities, and communities, have championed women-led initiatives in conflict-affected regions. These initiatives directly impacted up to ten women-led community projects, benefiting a total of 1,500 internally displaced and conflict-affected women. Notably, a hundred women received entrepreneurial support to start their business ventures, while thirty others participated in internship and grant programmes.

The assistance provided by the EU and UNDP extended to twenty collective centres for internally displaced persons, transforming the lives of 735 displaced and conflict-affected women through infrastructural projects and other support measures.

Hands for Peace

One such inspiring example is the Zugdidi-based organization ‘Hands for Peace,’ which is actively involved in community projects supported through the EU4Dialogue programme. Their initiative in Georgia’s Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region brought about life-changing opportunities for twenty conflict-affected and internally displaced women.

Through a combination of handicraft training and life coaching sessions, the project participants acquired skills in knitting, tailoring, embroidery, and macramé, empowering them to earn a living, embrace personal growth, and embark on professional journeys. ‘Hands for Peace’ established a childcare space in their workshop, enabling women to attend classes with their children. For many participants, it was the first experience of engaging in activities beyond their homes, thus transitioning from unpaid caregiving roles to paid employment and entrepreneurship.

On 23 February, the results of this impactful community initiative were showcased at the gala event in Zugdidi with participants presenting their masterful handicrafts and entrepreneurial accomplishments. This vibrant gathering, attended by around 250 guests, commenced with a captivating runway exhibition featuring crafts and hand-made garments adorned with traditional ornaments.

Speaking at the event, Giorgi Vardishvili, UNDP Team Leader for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, underscored the vital role of economic empowerment in fostering community resilience to crises. “Economic empowerment changes lives of women affected by conflict and lays the groundwork for long-term community resilience. These initiatives extend beyond economic benefits. They empower individuals and inspire hope. UNDP will continue working with the European Union, local authorities, civil society organizations, and the private sector to support conflict-affected communities across Georgia.”

Background Information:

EU4Dialogue: Support to Conflict Transformation in the South Caucasus and the Republic of Moldova is a joint initiative of the EU and UNDP under the broader EU4Dialogue programme. The project partners with local civil society organizations and grassroots groups to improve socio-economic conditions for people, build livelihoods, drive progress toward gender equality, promote youth engagement and support the peaceful transformation of conflict.

Media Contacts:

  • Sophie Tchitchinadze, UNDP, +995 599 196907, sophie.tchitchinadze@undp.org
  • Salome Tarkhnishvili, UNDP, +995 557 338230, salome.tarkhnishvili@undp.org
  • Tamar Mikadze, European Union Delegation to Georgia, +995 32 2364364, tamriko.mikadze@eeas.europa.eu