Georgia - Social development

All employees are eligible for old age benefits which are funded primarily by employers, who contribute 27% of payroll. Disability and death are not covered. A special social pension exists for the aged and disabled who do not qualify for the employee pension system as determined by need. Paid maternity leave is provided for up to eight weeks, although it is reported that employers frequently withhold benefits. Temporary disability is only payable if the employer is responsible for the injury, although unemployment and permanent disability benefits are provided. Extremely high inflation has limited the effectiveness of the pension system. Medical services are provided to needy residents by government health officials.

Women, especially older women, mostly work in low-paying, traditional occupations, often on a part-time basis. Female participation in politics has been discouraged, and women rarely fill leadership positions in the private sector. Discrimination and harassment in the workplace are common. Violence against women is a serious problem and there are virtually no mechanisms to assist victims. Societal bias discourages the reporting of domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Human rights abuses by the police and security forces continue, often to obtain confessions or extract money. Prison conditions are inhumane and life threatening, and corruption is endemic in the judicial and law enforcement systems.

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