Ambassador of SDG 5: Gender Equality

Captain of the National Rugby Team of Georgia, Merab Sharikadze

Rugby is primarily based on the principles of equality. Can you tell us more about these principles?

Rugby is one of the most egalitarian sports because there is a suitable position for a person of any height, weight, and physical traits. Therefore, rugby promotes equality – it doesn’t matter who you are; everyone is equal when you step onto the field.

Within the framework of your activities, you contribute to raising awareness about gender equality and preventing violence against women in Georgia. How do people understand gender equality in Georgia, and what can be done to raise public awareness in this regard?

I hope that most people understand the importance of gender equality. As for what else can be done, we, the members of society, should educate and set an example for one another.

Merab Sharikadze

The national rugby team of Georgia is actively working to raise awareness on the topic of violence against women. What are you doing to raise awareness and prevent violence against women?

Personally, I have participated in a number of events. We launched a campaign on TV, met with children, and discussed these issues with them. These awareness activities are not limited to rugby players. The Rugby Union has also expressed its initiative multiple times. Also, we wore T-shirts with messages before the game and during the anthem. This is the usual practice. In general, rugby is quite actively involved in raising awareness. We do our best within our power.

In this direction, you cooperate with the UN Women. What is the importance of cooperation between different sectors, the engagement of different sectors, for example, business and international organizations?

Cooperation is important for reaching out to as many people as possible about what is right. 

What would you advise society? How is it possible to achieve gender equality in Georgia?

We should not remain neutral. You can’t watch from the sidelines and do nothing.

What are your plans to further raise awareness about violence against women and gender equality?

To the best of my ability, I will do everything I can, including wearing themed shirts, meeting and talking with children about these issues, and participating in various campaigns. I will never avoid stating my position and intervening directly or indirectly whenever necessary.