Anthropologist, Associate Professor of the Ilia University Elene Gavashelishvili conducted a study of women who have the problem of infertility - how they solve this problem in a country where, on the one hand, motherhood is considered the main function of a woman, and on the other hand, such an authoritative organization as the church has a negative attitude to modern reproductive technologies.
“The main force driving them is the social pressure claiming that she should definitely become a mother”, she says.
Gavashelishvili notes that, according to her personal observation, some changes are taking place in society - recently women are trying to make motherhood not their only identity.
However, she emphasizes that she cannot generalize from this observation because it is not based on research, and also points out that there are likely differences between rural and urban areas, as well as between social classes.
According to her, a woman's attempt to play another major role, in addition to the role of a mother, is not easy and is the result of a lot of struggle and hard work:
“For example, in order not to lose their jobs, women return to their jobs very soon after having children. And in the context of the pandemic, when all auxiliary institutions were closed, whether it be a kindergarten or a school, women had a particularly hard time”.
Gavashelishvili shares his observation that there has been an increase in the number of women at the master's and doctoral levels at the university, that is, there has been an increase in the demand for additional education and employment in jobs that will give women independence.
However, according to Elene, despite this, motherhood is still on the agenda.
“In many societies, especially in Georgia, it seems that a woman is perfected by motherhood. Women, including those who are successful in their careers, are judged through motherhood.”
According to her, there is a lot of pressure on a woman to get married and have children.
However, when a woman approaches the age of decline and for some reason remains childless, even the most traditional parents may say: “Why don’t you try some alternative way, because the most important thing is not to remain childless.”