Professional Training Center ,
Tbilisi, Georgia (former Soviet Union Republic)

Professional Training Center is a non-profit, non-governmental organization in existence since 1998. One of the main directions of its activity entails working on gender issues.

The main goals are:

** To improve the social and economic conditions of life for women;
** To assist women who are seeking employment through teaching them new, up-to-date professional skills, conducting English Language and offering computer learning courses;
** To promote female rights and interest protection;
** To create civic institutions for women and their integration into international systems to prevent any violence toward women's human rights.

Immediately before and after the break-up of the former Soviet Union, a wide range of economic and social problems occurred in Georgia. Women in particular have found themselves unprotected in the new, hard conditions created by a market economy. In the private sector including transnational and national enterprises, women are largely absent from management and from any power over policies and practices. Besides, the greater part of the female population is not aware of their rights and roles in social life and is strongly dependent upon men and thus are unable to solve their problems independently.

The monitoring of the problem at the very beginning stage of our activity revealed another important matter - extremely poor conditions women: IDP women and single mothers, disabled women who actually live in complete isolation and have no idea how support their families and children. Their intellectual and working skills are not used; there are few educational opportunities for them. Unfortunately, because the lack of financing, the government is not able to help them, and thus they are left alone with their problems and pain. All of the above encouraged the founders of Professional Training Center to form a group aiming at searching for alternative approaches to these problems.

With reference to above mentioned, the activity of our group will benefit socially most unprotected female population: disabled, IDP, who as it was mentioned above, at present have nearly no chance to find a job because of lack of working experience and skills in the new conditions of a market economy.

At present the Center conducts its activities to several directions:

** Implementing special programs for woman in order to ensure their social and economic independence;
** Assistance in women employment problems;
** Establishment of professional training and refreshing courses for women; improvement and development of their professional skills;
** Establishment of a special Library Department of Gender Studies.

For more information about Professional Training Center, contact:

Nana Gegelishvili 11, Gudiashvili Street,
380007 Tbilisi,

Posted 8/18/99