Tamuna Gvarishvili, 18, Batumi

„I think my life would be easier if I were a boy. I used to keep a diary a few years ago. Reading the records made during the holidays I found out that I always complained about one and the same thing – my elder brother is at the sea all the time, plays computer games, watches TV or has fun with his friends. I have less time to do things I am keen on doing because I have to wash the dishes or clean the house. As a girl, I have to take responsibility for household chores during the absence of my mother. Nobody will get angry at my brother for not putting laundry on a line. I think such attitude deprives girls and women of the opportunity to use time more productively.

It would be unfair not to note that my parents tried not to assign any chores during my high school years, and they do the same now as they see results of my study, but nevertheless my brother’s domestic responsibilities have not increased. My parents never tell me when to come back home at night, because they trust me and think that I will make a right decision myself, but about after 10 p.m. they start calling me to learn where I am and when I am coming back. As for my brother, even though he is still minor, he can go out even at 10 p.m. and meet his friends. Whenever they need something to get from a store at night they send my brother because I am a girl.

I have felt that males are privileged outside the family as well. Most of all I am annoyed when sometimes their intellectual capacities are praised absolutely groundlessly. During the school years some teachers used to encourage them more to be involved in extracurricular activities, especially in mathematical olympiads and contests. For example, once our school received invitation to take part in one of the math projects. Our teacher announced that she needed boys’ intellect for the project. It turned out that the project was about staging a mathematical play. The boys thought that it was a silly thing and not appropriate for them. Eventually only girls took part in the play, following the stereotype that mathematics is for boys and drama – for girls. Sometimes our male classmates used to look down on honor student girls (including me) because teachers and generally the public convinced them that girls work very hard and practice every day to get things through, while boys can reach the same results much more easily. They think they would be able to become genius if they worked as hard as girls. This is felt even more acutely at universities. I think our lecturers should respect the work we had made to pass exams and enroll at a university. They should not encourage us to get married and offer ‘easy grades’ in exchange. Despite the demographic condition in the country, I think education is most important.“