Working to improve the legal environment and access to equal rights and opportunities is one of the leading scopes of work for the Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG). The organization has been advocating for LGBTQI rights since 2002 and structurally established advocacy as its area of focus in 2010.
Throughout this time, the organization has been systematically (every two years) producing research reports on the human rights situation of LGBTQI persons in Georgia. Since 2014, WISG has been raising trans-specific health issues, and in 2015, the organization published a policy paper on the needs of trans* persons in health care. The first in-depth representative study, conducted in 2016, on societal attitudes towards the LGBTQI community is also noteworthy.
WISG has also been actively cooperating with various international agencies to develop shadow reports and conduct systematic data analysis at the legislative and executive levels, when communicating with the international community about the situation in the country.
On the local level, WISG is actively lobbying for a legal gender recognition mechanism and the development of public policy documents. The organization also performs strategic litigation, both locally and in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and provides free-of-charge legal advice and support to community members.
In 2010, WISG, in cooperation with “Article 42 of the Constitution” (currently, “Rights Georgia”) and INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, filed a lawsuit with the ECHR in Strasbourg. This was the first SOGI-based case ever lodged by Georgia with the European Court of Human Rights.
In connection with the attack by a violent mob against a small group of LGBTQI community members and activists on May 17, 2013, the Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group, in partnership with the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre (EHRAC), filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of 23 activists who had suffered damages at the rally.
In 2017, in collaboration with EHRAC, WISG filed a lawsuit with the ECHR regarding a case on legal gender recognition.