Georgia’s Public Defender says women excluded from politics

4 April 2017
'More women in parliament' (Mari Nikuradze/OC Media)

The Georgian government has not taken significant measures to promote gender equality, and no positive changes have been seen over the past year, according to the Public Defender’s annual human rights report.

Georgia’s parliament passed a legislative amendment in 2011 by which political parties financed from the state budget would receive 10% more financing if at least 20% of candidates on their party list are women.

The amendment has not resulted in any significant changes in Georgian politics. In the two parliamentary election since 2011, Women’s participation in parliament hasn’t changed.

In 2011, of the 150 MPs in parliament, 6% were women. When the government changed in 2012, the number of women in parliament increased to 11%, but according to the Public Defender, this was coincidental and was not caused by the new regulations.

The Public Defender also claims that in 2016 legislation had not improved any further.

‘Parliament voted against laws to introduce a quota for women in parliament, against sexual harassment, and against femicide’, the report reads.

The Public Defender’s Office visited several regions throughout the country and concluded that women’s attendance at public meetings is far smaller than men’s, and that very often, men are against women attending the meetings.

According to a poll conducted by the National Democratic Institute in 2014, 64% of respondents said that there is no gender equality in Georgia, while 70% said that at least 30% of MPs in parliament should be women.

Despite this, the overall number of women MPs has seen slight increases with every new parliament. In the 2008 elections, 7% of MPs elected were women; this increased to 12% in the next assembly in 2012. There are currently 24 women MPs, which is 16% of parliament.

According to the 2016 Global Gender Gap report, Georgia ranks 114th out of 144 in terms of women’s participation in politics.

Fierce, independent journalism

Let’s be honest, the media situation in the Caucasus is grim. Every day we are accused of ‘serving the enemy’ whoever that enemy may be. Our journalists have been harassed, arrested, beaten, and exiled. But nevertheless, we persevere. For us this is a labour of love. Unfortunately, we cannot run OC Media on love alone, journalism is expensive and funding is scarce. Our sole mission is to serve the interests of all peoples of the region. Support us today and join us in the fight for a better Caucasus.

Support Us