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December 15, 2022

Ambassador Degnan’s Remarks to Media at National Gender Equality Conference

Question about the event

Ambassador Degnan:  I’m very pleased to be here this morning for to participate in the National Conference on gender equality, which for over 10 years has been doing exceptional work to advance the social and economic opportunities for women and girls, and to combat gender-based violence. Gender equality is a central part of President Biden’s foreign policy around the world, and we are very pleased to be able to participate in the conference today.  I think we are all quite concerned about the recent trend of an increase in gender-based violence and femicide in Georgia and elsewhere. The United States has been working very closely with the government, law enforcement, civil society to try to raise awareness about this scourge, this terrible crime against women and girls. We will continue to do everything we can to help people understand how unacceptable it is that women and girls do not feel safe in their own homes with their own loved ones.  So, today’s conference is to continue the effort here. I do want to mention the importance of the hotline here in Georgia. It’s a global hotline, but here in Georgia,  this is the hotline for gender-based violence, for domestic violence for anyone in need: 116 006

Question about former President Saakashvili 

Ambassador Degnan:  The government has a responsibility to ensure that his human rights are respected, that he receives the medical care and the psychological care he needs, and that he receives a fair trial. Fundamentally, that is the government’s responsibility.  With a court hearing underway, those legal processes should continue, um, in accordance with basic human rights and the protection of privacy as well as the right to a fair trial.