The photos offer powerful insights into the lives of particularly dedicated mayors and council members and explore their realities in local politics, the obstacles they face and the hopes that keep them going. What they all have in common is the desire to step up and tackle the problems in their communities, the ambition to make a difference in their cities and villages, and the motivation to continue with their efforts even under the most adverse conditions.
Nevertheless, the broader picture is rather bleak. Women in the South Caucasus remain dramatically underrepresented in local politics. They do not enjoy equal access to positions that allow them to influence local policies the way men do. As a consequence, they tend to have no say in the decisions that will eventually affect them as much as anyone else. Against this background, the local politicians we see here today stand out as inspiring examples to others and are living proof of what women in leadership positions can achieve for their communities.