Petition of Local Non-Governmental Organizations Who Are Members of the Task Force for Women’s Political Participation
To the Chairman of the Parliament, Members of the Georgian Parliament, Legal Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia, the President of Georgia, the Government of Georgia, the Public Defender of Georgia, Representatives of International Community in Georgia
Petition of local non-governmental organizations who are members of the task force for women’s political participation
On June 10, 2015, the Task Force for Women’s Political Participation submitted to the parliament of Georgia legislative proposal for gender quotas that would apply to proportionate party lists in the parliamentary and local self-government elections. Proposed quotas would guarantee minimum 25% representation of women in the parliament.
Despite the provision in the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens that provides financial incentives, in 2012 parliamentary elections women gained only 12% of seats. Consequently, in terms of gender balance in legislature, Georgia ranks 115th among 185 countries.
2014 local self-government elections painted an alarming picture of gender inequality. All mayors of 12 self-governing cities are men; out of 69 Gamgebelis throughout Georgia, only 2 are women, while women account for 11.6% of Sakrebulo members.
After our legislative proposal was registered, another initiative was submitted to the parliament requiring that every third place in first five brackets of ten on proportionate party lists allocated to the opposite sex, and providing financial incentives for 50% representation of women. Despite the fact that adoption of mandatory quotas in any form will be a step forward and in this regard, the draft law is an important initiative, we believe that our proposal offers a far more equitable model of quoting and a mechanism for ensuring meaningful equality to legislators.
Based on international standards, 40% is a “critical minority” for representatives of opposite sex in legislature. The recommended minimum is a necessary precondition for democratic development of a country. By allocating every third place in first five brackets of ten on proportionate party lists will eventually result in 16% women representation in parliament, which is insufficient to improve the existing imbalance considerably or fulfill international commitments of Georgia, while 50% gender quota on party lists will guarantee 25% women representation in the parliament. Dispute the fact that 25% is still below the recommended minimum, this would be the first step towards justice.
Non-governmental organizations who are members of the Task Force on women’s political representation urge you to take into account the existing imbalance, Georgia’s international obligations, recent increasing violence against women and use common efforts and determination to turn 2015, declared as the Year of Women, into a historic breaking point for ensuring gender equality in Georgia.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
Gender Information Network
Gender Equality Network
Network of Journalists for Gender Equality
European Women for Common Future – Georgia
Consent - Association of Internally Displaced Women