Parliament should Support Gender Quotas

Civil society organizations urge the Parliament of Georgia to support during the plenary session legislative initiative backed by 37,455 signatures to ensure equal political representation of women and men.

On 12 June 2017, a legislative initiative was submitted to the Parliament of Georgia by 37,455 voters, intorducing mandatory requirement for parties and blocs to prepare gender balanced lists for elections where every other candidate is of a different sex, and replace any elected member who abandons his/her mandate with the next successful candidate on the party list who is of the same sex. The proposed model is a temporary special measure to correct gender imbalance. If approved, share of women in the 2020 Parliament will be at least 26%.

Women account for 52.3%of Georgian population while their representation in elected offices is disproportionately low. In the last parliamentary elections women were able to secure only 16% of seats in the legislature and they account for 13.46% of elected members of Sakrebulos. With such figures Georgia is legging far behind developed countries in terms of women’s political representation. Despite the slight increase in the number women in elective office over the recent years, at current pace it will take decades to correct the gender imbalance in legislative and local self-government bodies.

Experience shows that women have to overcome important social and economic obstacles to be nominated as candidates for elective office. Women’s representation is further discouraged by the existing parallel electoral system in Georgia.

Meaningful measures should be taken to overcome the existing barriers. Gender quotas in proportional election lists is a temporary legislative measure to ensure equal participation of women and men in politics. According to the polls, majority of Georgian population believes that number of women in Parliament and in self-governing bodies is very low and support mandatory gender quotas, as evidenced by over 37,000 signatures.  

Under the amendments made to the Constitution in 2017, Georgia committed itself to ensuring elimination of inequality between men and women and achieving substantive equality, including by taking special measures. The obligation to ensure gender equality is established by many international agreements, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In its recommendation prepared after Georgia submitted the fourth periodic report on the women’s rights situation in the country, the CEDAW committee states that Georgia should take meaningful steps to strengthen gender equality, including by taking mandatory measures to improve women’s participation. In addition, the updated EU-Georgia Association Agenda contains new obligations for Georgia, including the obligation to take active steps towards increasing women’s representation in political life and decision-making process.

The draft law provides a historic opportunity for Parliament to help increase women’s political participation. We are pleased that during committee-level discussions the draft law as supported by the legal affairs, human rights protection and regional development committees.

We urge Parliament to discuss the legislative initiative during the plenary session in a timely manner. It is imperative that the authorities and opposition parties demonstrate a clear political will for equality between women and men and support the legislative initiative of Georgian citizens.


1. International Sociaty for Fair Elections and Democracy

2. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association

3. Partnership for Human Rights

4. Women’s Fund Georgia

5. Women’s Political Resource Center

6. Union Sapari

7. Civil Development Agency

8. Equality Movement

9. Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center

10. Green Alternative

11. Network of Journalists for Gender Equality

12. Young Feminists’ Initiative Group

13. Public Initiatives Group

14. Women for Regional Development

15. Telavi Gender Media Center

16. Rustavi Gender Media Center

17. Gori Gender Media Center

18. Kutaisi Gender Media Center

19. Zugdidi Gender Media Center

20. Ozurgeti Gender Media Center

21. Batumi Gender Media Center

22. Akhaltsikhe Gender Media Center

23. Economic Policy Research Center

24. Transparency International Georgia

25. The Haague Club

26. Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) Georgia

27. Studio-mobile Accent on Action

28. Society of Democratic Women of Marneuli

29. International Association Women and Business

30. Association Women of Multinational Georgia

31. Network of Centers for Democratic Engagement

32. Initiative Group Women for Georgia

33. Association of Education and Labor

34. Helping Hand

35. Platform for New Opportunities

36. Women’s Vision

37. Women from Georgia

38. For Rights and Education

39. Georgian Farmers Association

40. Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture

41. Civic Development Association of Georgia

42. Institute of Democracy

43. Union of Scientists of Imereti Region Spektri

44. Nabiji Kharagauli

45. Multinational Georgia

46. Demosi

47. Association Art for Public Interests

48. Dusheti Development Fund

49. Friendship Bridge Kartlosi

50. Guria Youth Resource Center

51. For the Better Future

52. National Network for Protection against Violence – Mtskheta-Mtianeti Regional Committee

53. Center of civil Society and Democracy Development

54. Association Atinati

55. Akhaltsikhe Youth Center

56. Racha Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Self-Government Resource Center

57. Samtskhe-Javakheti Media Center

58. We – for Healthy Future

59. Association Dea

60. Association Tolerant

61. Social Monitoring and Research Center

62. Apkhazinterkonti Fund

63. Saunje

64. Kakheti Regional Development Fund

65. Tkibuli District Development Fund

66. Community Union Nukriani

67. Kutaisi Information Center

68. Our Pshavi

69. Civil Activity and Equality Center

70. Regional Development Center

71. Biliki

72. Association Imedi, movement of IDP women for peace

73. Union for Civil Development

74. Association Zekari

75. Union of Young Scientists Intelekti

76. Green Sector

77. Good Governance and Education Foundation

78. Democracy and Effective Governance Center

79. Center for Development of International Business and Promotion of Investments

80. House of Free Journalists

81. Georgian Reforms Association

82. Association Zekari

83. Young Scientists’ Club of Ozurgeti

84. Association Vejini

85. Lanckhuti Information Center

86. Kvemo Kartli Public Information Center

87. Association Lore

88. Sika – Georgian Association for Educational Initiatives

89. Imereti Regional Organization of PWDs for Complete Life

90. House of Georgian Democracy

91. Cultural Humanitarian Foundation Sukhumi

92. Gori Youth Movement Time is Now

93. Association of Civil Education Lecturers Sela

94. Young Greens of Georgia

95. Development and Migration Institute

96. Taso Foundation

97. Young socialists

98. Association of IDP Women Tankhmoba

99. Union of Azerbaijani Women of Georgia

100. Gori Community Development Center

101. Gori Club of Photographers

102. Gorri Community Radio Mosaic

103. Georgian Media Group

104. Welfare and Development Center of Georgia

105. Shida Kartli Information Center

106. Union Step to Future

107. Association Women and Development

108. Article 42 of the Constitution

109. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information

110. Penal Reform International – Georgia

111. Iare Pekhit

112. Education Center

113. Center for Development of Civic Engagement – Co-Participant

114. Families against Discrimination

115. Coalition of Organizations of PWDs and Parents – Movement for Change

116. Down Syndrome Association of Georgia and Social Enterprise Babale

117. Human Rights Development Foundation

118. Open Society - Georgia

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