Barbare Sulkhanishvili – was a regular member of the Telavi Department of the Society for the Spreading of Literacy among Georgians (1914-1915)

Barbare Sulkhanishvili – was a regular member of the Telavi Department of the Society for the Spreading of Literacy among Georgians (1914-1915). She defended women’s rights in her various newspaper articles and was bold to contradict male writers publicly. Here is an excerpt from one of Barbare’s article published in the newspaper Iveria in response to Chiora (pen name of the journalist and writer Artem Akhnazarov). In his article, Chiora criticized Georgian female writers, noting that if Georgian women did not improve their language, the men would not marry them, because they seemed to be fascinated by the fluent Georgian of this “young, only 24-year-old” English woman (meaning Marjory Wardrop, translator).

Barbare Sulkhanishvili replied:

“Mr. Chiora, a twenty-four year old woman is still young in the eyes of the English people. If your society thought like the English people, we would not be readied for marriage at the age of 13-14. We could have gained so much if the society considered twenty-four year women as young, not old. We could have nourished our mind, developed a character, had the society that is made up of you and the likes of you, convinced us that we should not be getting married until we are twenty-four just as you are sure that we cannot marry until the age of 13-14. As for us, we are sure that the moment we are past twenty-four, your society will label as us “too old” and write us off. In the eyes of the society that calls a 13- or a 14-year-old ready for marriage, no wonder that the woman grows old too soon.”

Source: “The National Library of Georgia; Newspaper Iveria, 1894, N209, p. 3

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