The Georgian Rugby Community and the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2011 participating teams and officials joined forces with UN Women in the UN Secretary General’s ‘UNiTE to End Violence Against Women’ Campaign.
The presentation, held in Tbilisi during the tournament, included a video presentation with Georgian representative players delivering a clear message: “Me vgmob” (I condemn).
“When I was presented with the statistics of domestic violence in my country I was shocked and instantly decided to offer our support to the programme,” said Georgian Rugby Union President George Nijaradze. “Rugby is a code of values and these are common to every country that plays the Game. We have to work together to ensure this programme is successful.”
In February 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon launched a multi-year global campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women. The campaign aims to mobilise public opinion to ensure that policy makers at the highest level work to prevent and eradicate violence against women. The campaign emphasises the importance of outreach to strategic groups, in particular men and boys who play the utmost role in ending violence against women and girls.
“We want to promote zero tolerance towards the practice of violence against women and domestic violence in the society. Success in this area without the participation of men is impossible,” said Lali Papiashvili, Chairwoman of the Inter-Agency Council Implementing Measures to Eliminate Domestic Violence in Georgia.
Georgian MP Rusudan Kervalishvili added: “The great help of the GRU in helping us teach the future generations is important, and we are hoping that their example is followed by other national sporting bodies.”
At the event, a representative from each national team participating in JWRT 2011 signed the affirmation to officially join the UN Secretary General's UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign.
Philippe Bourdarias, IRB Tournaments Manager, was amongst the distinguished speakers. After telling the audience that rugby is a sport for all shapes and sizes, men and women, boys and girls and of the growth of women’s rugby and the success of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010, he spoke about the strength of rugby.
“Rugby is a special sport based on the values of respect, solidarity and tolerance. Being a good rugby player is not about size or strength; you need values and to respect them. Education is very important in rugby and if we can add this programme into our Game, it will be a good way to help its success.”