By Salome Kinkladze
Georgia’s forests have nourished the country’s women for generations and continue to do so. In the last several years a select few have also stepped forward as the forests’ protectors.
Marina Sujashvili, 67, was the first woman in Georgia to work as a forester. She is only one of seven women who currently work in the profession in the country.
Foresters in Georgia are ‘specialists in forest management, protection and use’ who not only protect a forest’s wildlife but take care of its entire ecosystem. They plant saplings and ensure the health of older trees, as well as keeping an eye on nearby agriculture and local woodland activity to ensure nothing falls out of balance.
For their important and varied role, they are more commonly known as ‘governors’ of the forest.
Sujashvili was inspired to take the job by her botanist mother who she had often accompanied on trips to the forest. She told OC Media that it is only natural that women work as foresters because, for many rural women, the forest is a way of life.