The residents of Pankisi Gorge have held several protests against the construction of Khadori 3, a hydroelectric power plant.
Locals fear that the new plant, which is slated to be built on the right bank of Alazani River, will hurt the region and the local population. Specifically, they believe it will destroy the environment and harm prospects to develop tourism in the valley.
The protest is one of many organized in the country against planned hydro plants. For Pankisi Gorge, however, this demonstration is also a signal of deeper changes in the community: women are taking a leading role.
The Elder Men’s Council, the most powerful institution in Pankisi Gorge, has stopped attending the rallies and no longer supports efforts to stop the construction of the plant.
In response, a small number of men have created a separate council to protest against the hydro plant and the local women's council has stepped in to support them.
The women’s council made its first public statement on its position in an interview with Chai Khana.