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Human Rights Center requests to study the case of alleged gender-based discrimination in the Ministry of Defense of Georgia

26.03.2019

 
Human Rights Center defends legal interests of Ekaterine Kvlividze, former employee of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia in the Tbilisi City Court. The military pilot was compelled to terminate contract and leave the Ministry of Defense. Because of the terminated contract, the Ministry appealed the Tbilisi City Court and requested to fine the former employee with 28 000 GEL.

Ekaterine Kvlividze terminated her contract because of the unbearable situation in the Ministry of Defense. The pilot said her chiefs discriminated her and did not allow her to comprehensively implement her duties. 

Ekaterine Kvlividze served as a pilot in the Air Forces of the Ministry of Defense for more than 11 years since 2007. Her service in the air forces in 2008 was evaluated as 3-year-long working experience. She honestly executed her duties and received multiple awards for it. In 2017, she was awarded with the II Class Medal for Irreproachable Service. 
  
On May 30, 2017, Ekaterine Kvlividze and the Ministry of Defense signed administrative contract about the business leave of the military officer. From May 30, 2017 to February 9, 2018 Ekaterine Kvlividze was in the USA, where she took the career courses of the aviation captain. Upon return in Georgia, she learned that she was demoted to lower rank and position. Also, she found out that female pilot was no more envisaged in the 2018 military training plan of the mixed escadrille of the Aviation and Air Force Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Georgia. Ekaterine Kvlividze said to explain these changes the chief told her that it was useless to spend resources on the woman pilot and for that reason she was not envisaged in the plan of the military trainings; neither should she hope to be enrolled in the next year plan. 

After Ekaterine Kvlividze arrived from the USA, the Ministry of Defense decided to move the woman pilot to the infantry, which was protested by Kvlividze because with it her career as a pilot would have finished. However, she did not refuse to conduct trainings on the Krtsanisi training base. In parallel to that, she offered to the management to send her to Afghanistan, where she could realize her knowledge gained in the USA but they refused. 

Since March 2018 Ekaterine Kvlividze several times applied the Ministry for the permission to take educational programs but her petitions were not satisfied. Finally, the Ministry of Defense compelled Ekaterine Kvlividze to submit application on resignation as her rights were permanently violated. 

On February 23, 2019 Ekaterine Kvlividze was notified that the Ministry of Defense appealed the court and requested to fine her with 28 000 GEL for the violation of the contract; also they requested to impose penalty on her that is 0.2% of 28 000 GEL for each month since July 2, 2018. 

It is important to note that many officers left the Ministry of Defense based on the ceased contracts but the Ministry never appealed against any of them. The Ministry blames the former employee for the violation of the contract conditions while the Ministry itself did not implement the contract requirements – namely, the Ministry has not paid salary supplement for 3 years time.  

Human Rights Center calls on the Ministry of Defense to withdraw its administrative lawsuit from the Tbilisi City Court as it is groundless.

At the same time, the Ministry of Defense shall respond to the allegation about the violation of Ekaterine Kvlividze’s rights and carry out internal survey to determine whether senior officials had professionally intimidated and discriminated Ekaterine Kvlividze on gender grounds.

Human Rights Center appeals the Public Defender of Georgia with the request to study the alleged gender-based discrimination.  

Human Rights Center 

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