Gender Equality Plan

Center for Social Sciences (CSS) is firmly committed to ensure the equal opportunities to its staff members and affiliated fellows at the workplace. For ensuring this, CSS has developed a Gender Equality plan in fall 2022 in accordance with the Horizon Europe Guidance on Gender Equality Plans.  
CSS is against any kind of discrimination including the ones based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or citizenship. CSS pays particular attention to the security and safety of its employees from physical, mental, sexual abuse, harassment or any kind of violence. As a means to ensure appropriate measures against any kind of discrimination, CSS designates a trusted person to monitor and advice CSS employees in case of any occasions or potential threats.

The Gender Equality Plan and Measures for its Implementation 2023–2027

1.      Preamble

The Center for Social Sciences has always been firmly committed to providing equal opportunities to its staff members irrespective of gender, sex, ethnicity, religion, ethnic or national identity, etc. Since its establishment as a spin-off of Open Society Georgia Foundation, CSS has taken particular interest in promoting and studying gender equality. Namely, in 2005 CSS introduced the first international Gender Studies Master’s program at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in partnership with the Gender Studies direction of Rutgers, University of New Jersey, USA. The program was the first one in the discipline not only in the Georgian academic sphere, but also in the entire post-Soviet world. Through funding from the Open Society Foundations Higher Education Support Programme, CSS was able to grant the study scholarships to 5 students annually willing to study at the Master’s program.

In 2010 CSS introduced the international PhD program in Gender Studies in conjunction with the Rutgers University, thus further promoting the discipline among the Georgian academic communities, ensuring that the universities have future professional cadres for the development of gender studies in the Georgian academia.

In 2012, CSS reconsidered its mission and transformed into a research center focusing on four different academic directions, one of them being the Gender Equality Program. Within this program CSS has implemented a series of projects, such as The Study of Georgian Youth’s Awareness, Attitudes and Perceptions of Gender Equality (Donor: Academic Swiss Caucasus Net (ASCN)); Assessment of Work and Working Structure of Non-Governmental Women’s Institutions in Georgia (Donor: The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation); The Study of Needs and Priorities of Women Residing in Remote Mountainous Settings of Georgia (Donor: UN Women IAGE Programme); Using School Education for Raising Gender Sensitivity Among Youth (Donor: Westminster Foundation for Democracy); Promoting Gender Equality in Employment (In cooperation with 42 Article of Constitution; Donor: USAID grant partnership); Dictionary-Guidebook of Social Sciences: Psychology, Gender, Applied Statistics, Public Policy and Administration (Donor: Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation); Young Georgian Women for NATO (Donor: NATO Public Diplomacy Programme).

Ensuring equal opportunities to its employees has always been a guiding principle for CSS. Gender Equality Plan was further developed in order to also ensure the equal opportunities for all genders and take active measures in this respect. The aim of the GEP is to ensure a gender balance and equal participation by women and men in the CSS’s organizational structures and projects.

All the CSS staff members recognize and accept the principles of gender equality.

2. Review

The review was conducted by the 30 September 2022
 BodyNumber of staffNumber of womenPercentage (%) of women
Institutional Management22100%
Supervisory Body (CSS Board)7342.8%
Administrative Staff (administrative, financial and IT units)6466%
Researchers66 100%
Affiliated fellows 7457.1%
Notes: ‘Number of staff’ includes all employees and affiliated people, either working full time, part time or on voluntary basis.

As observed from the table above, CSS has a high percentage of female employees both on managerial, non-managerial and research positions. The organization is managed by 100% females (executive and administrative directors); however, this gender disparity is balanced by the majority of males on the governing body – CSS Board.

3. Action Areas and Measures

CSS has identified a few areas to ensure equal treatment and gender equality:

  • Gender balance in research teams
  • Work/life balance
  • Integration of the gender dimension into research
  • Measures against gender-based discrimination and violence, including sexual harassment

3.1 Gender balance in research teams

The area that requires to ensure more equal gender distribution is the male researchers’ involvement in research projects. Currently, all 100% of the CSS’s researchers are females, while a more gender-balanced approach is needed to be achieved in this respect.

CSS plan to improve the situation:

In the upcoming projects that CSS is currently developing, the research teams will be more balanced. Namely, during the recruitment process of researchers, CSS management will pay particular attention to create this balance and ensure that male researchers are also represented on the team.

3.2 Work/life balance

CSS provides its staff with opportunities for remote working (working from home), unless there are compelling work-related reasons which make this impossible. Even though the Covid-19 pandemic and respective restriction have eased up, CSS maintained the flexibility for the staff members to work predominantly remotely, however, this approach is also somewhat problematic for maintaining a work/life balance of the employees. Therefore, starting from 2023, CSS will introduce a hybrid working model with a specific number of hours to be worked from the office, while the rest of the time remotely. This flexible working conditions will support and facilitate a work/life balance.

3.3 Integration of the gender dimension into research

As an organization focused on social sciences research, CSS aims to engage in a regular academic dialogue on the gender dimension in social relations and to also address this issue in its research agenda. Despite the fact that CSS runs a Gender Equality research program, currently, this program has been on hold considering the absence of projects in this area. From 2023, CSS will continue working in this direction and applying for new research projects on the related themes.

3.4 Measures against gender-based discrimination and violence, including sexual harassment

CSS condemns all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment and requires all its staff members to support counter-measures and report infringements. The organization sees it as its duty to protect all its employees from this type of workplace abuse. For this purpose, CSS has designated a person who will ensure that the workplace is safe and secure for its staff members, as well as there are special measures to be executed in case such events occur.