HIGH-LEVEL EVENT ON WOMEN’S POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN GEORGIA
The EU hosted a high-level event on women’s political participation in Georgia on March 31st, 2022. This took place in the favorable context of the 2021 local elections and the commitment and readiness of the high-level advocacy group to support women in politics.
In 2020, after a lengthy advocacy campaign, and for the first time in Georgian history, mandatory quotas for women candidates were introduced and applied during the 2020 parliamentary elections and the 2021 municipal elections. Political parties were obliged to nominate at least one-woman candidate out of four for parliamentary proportional candidate lists, and at least one woman out of three candidates for municipal proportional lists. The introduction of quotas led to an increase of elected women under the proportional election system both in the parliament and municipalities. However, women’s majority vote share remains critically low, and Georgia is still far from gender balance.
As the closing event of Women’s History Month, the conference aimed to assess the achievements and define upcoming challenges. The event aimed to keep women’s political participation high on the agenda of society (i.e., of the electorate), state authorities, interested stakeholders, and activists; to share the local perspective of female politicians on the topic of women’s political participation; and to discuss the way forward for Georgia to increase the political participation of women.
Three panels were organized with diverse speakers: Female politicians from the provinces, CSOs activists in this field, Government, UN Resident Coordinators, and Ambassadors from nine EU member states (Austria, Estonia, France, Netherlands, Romania, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, and Spain) and the United Kingdom.
Speakers shared their vision based on personal experiences, and discussed the role of state and institutions in bringing gender equality, and promoting women’s political participation with donor support. EU experience in this regard was discussed. The hybrid event enabled lively online discussions with more than 100 virtual participants.
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