Islam, Gender and Education in Contemporary Georgia: The Example of Kvemo Kartli
Religious minorities of Georgia include Muslims. Their composition is sufficiently miscellaneous, enclosing both ethnical viewpoint and belonging to the inner Islamic denomination. A majority of Muslims represent Azerbaijanis, who chiefly live in Kvemo Kartli (Bolnisi, Gardabani, Dmanisi, Tetri Tskaro, Marneuli and Tsalka). The catalyst for researchers of Islamic History is the geopolitical interests of Georgia, centuries-old contacts with the Islamic world, the not entirely trivial portion of Islam confessor population, the increasing influence of the Islamic factor in current religious-political processes in the world, the elevating procedure of Muslim religious self-consciousness in the Post-Soviet states, significant challenges of international terrorism, and perspectives of rapid globalization. The rise in the level of religious identity of Muslim citizens of Georgia (first of all of those who are not ethnic Georgians) is noticeable. New mosques have been constructed and, sometimes, even young people are being sent to the religious educational institutions of Muslim countries to gain a higher Islamic education. At a time when gender studies are substantive, the goal of which is to eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence in societies, it is essential in Georgia to conduct researches around the concrete problem – Islamic tradition, woman and education in Georgia. A woman’s right to education is an important indicator of women’s general status in a society. The appropriate resources, innovative analysis of Georgian ethnological materials, and surveying of the population (quantitative and qualitative research reports, working papers), condition the success of these researches. In the presented work, interrelation matters of Islam, gender and education in contemporary Georgia by the example of the Azerbaijani population in Kvemo Kartli during period 1992-2016 are studied. We researched the history of Muslim religious education centers in Tbilisi and Kvemo Kartli (Bolnisi, Gardabani, Dmanisi, Tetri Tskaro, Marneuli and Tsalka) in 1992-2016, on the one hand, and the results of sociological interrogation, on the other. As a result of our investigation, we found that Azeri women in the Kvemo Kartli (Georgia) region mostly receive their education in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Educational and Cultural Institutions are inaccessible for most Azeri women. The main reasons are the absence of educational and religious institutions at their places of residence and state policies towards Georgia’s Muslims.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1131337Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 735
 M. Tsereteli, Gender – Cultural and Social Construct (Genderi – kulturuli da socialuri konstruqti). Tbilsi:Center for Social Sciences,2006.
 Union of Azerbaijani Women of Georgia http://www.cipdd.org/index.php?Cat=Map&Id=7&LanG=®=0 (access date: 10 March 2017).
 A. Ganich, “Muslim Community of Georgia: Issue of Management and religious practice” (Мусульманская община Грузии: К вопросу управления и религиозной практики). A Collection of Reports’ Content of International Scientific Conference “Archeology, Ethnology and Folklore of Caucsus”. Tbilisi, 2011, pp.357-359. http://www.kavkazoved.info/news/2012/01/28/musulmanskaja-obschina-gruzii-k-voprosu-upravlenia-i-religioznoj-praktiki.html.
 Needs Assessment of Ethnic Minority Women in Georgia. Tbilisi: European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), 2014. http://ecmicaucasus.org/upload/Ethnic%Minority%20Women_Eng.pdf (access date: 2 March, 2017).
 Study on the Needs and Priorities of Ethnic Minority Women in the Kvemo Kartli Region. Tbilsi: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, 2014. http://www.issa-georgia.com/sites/issa/files/docs/eng.pdf.
 Account of the Kvemo-Kartli expedition 2016 (Tbilisi State University grant project).
 C. Prasad, Georgia’s Muslim Community: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? ECMI Working Paper#58. Tbilisi: European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), February 2012. www.ecmicaucasus.org/upload/publications/working_paper_58_en.pdf
 I. Menagarishvili, G. Lobjanidze, N. Sakhokia, and G. Gvimradze, Political Aspects of Islam in Georgia (Islamis politikuri aspektebi sakartveloshi), Tbilisi: Strategic Research Centre, 2013. http://georgica.tsu.edu.ge/files/03-Society/Ethnic%20Minorities/ISLAM.pdf.
 Quran Recital Competition http://www.amag.ge/index.php/news/item/267-2016-05-04-15-53-58 (access date:10 March, 2017).
 S. Mkrtchyan and K. Khutsishvili, “Georgia”, Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Volume 6, Edited by Jørgen S. Nielsen, Samim Akgönül, Ahmet Alibašić. Leiden: Brill,2014, pp.244-261.
 Ramilya Alieva. Georgia: Iranian Missionary Work Questioned, Global voices Caucasus, Instiute for war and peace. https://iwpr.net/global-voices/georgia-iranian-missionary-work-questioned (access date: 14 March, 2017).
 Thomas Liles and Bayram Balci. Georgia. https://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/.../resources/georgia-2014-final-mb.pdf.
 The Report of the Piblic Defender of Georgia of the Situation of Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia.2015,p.102. http://www.eoi.at/d/EOI%20-%20Jahresberichte/Georgien/Annual%20Report%202015.pdf.
 Research Report: The effectiveness of one year Georgian language program for ethnic minorities at HEIs. UN Association of Georgia, 09 Nov. 2016. http://una.ge/news/685/eng (access date:14 march 2-17).
 Ethnic minorities and civil integration in Georgia. 03 October, 2016. http://www.osce.org/odihr/271456?download=true (access date: 18 March, 2017).