Tamuna Nikoleishvili, 28, Kutaisi

„In our culture, single women are classified into two groups: unmarried and to-be-married. There is zero tolerance to a woman’s free will. On the contrary, if a woman is not married by a certain age, she becomes suspicious in the public eye. I frequently have to answer the question “why aren’t you getting married?” It is generally considered that as I’ve already received education, I have a profession and a certain career, now it is time to get married. Every blessed day, and sometimes a few times a day, I try to explain that marriage is not a business contract, you need to love a person, have feelings for that person, and this step must not be marriage for the sake of marriage. Being “unmarried” is a kind of a label that has recently stuck to me.

My female classmates are all married and every time we meet, they always say that it ‘happened’ to me because I have been focused on education and career only. The truth is that even if I had got married, it would not have prevented me from getting education and achieving my goals, because I believe the ultimate purpose of any woman is not marriage but her favorable contribution to the common good.

Sometimes I’ve heard quite a rude comment: “she’s a nice girl and how come she’s not married” they have said with regret and sympathy. I think I have done many useful and favorable things for the development of my city even though people value me based on my marital status. My career and success is only seen as a prerequisite for “a successful marriage”. I realize that a woman is not a personality, but a thing, a supporting human who must be standing behind a successful man.

I’m not anxious about my being “unmarried” at all. What I’m anxious about is the social pressure that almost obliges you to meet its requirements. Marriage is not my obligation, it is a choice and this choice must not be taken away from me by the society.”