Civil Society Organizations Come Together for Gender Equality

Numerous civil society organizations have urged the Parliament of Georgia to support a draft legislation originating from an initiative backed by 37,455 signatures last year. The legislation will ensure equal political representation of both women and men.

The initiative, submitted on June 12, 2017, aims at introducing mandatory requirements for parties to have the same amount of men and women represented in Parliament, as well as on gender-balanced elections. Furthermore, it requires a gender equal replacement of any elected member who abandons his/her mandate, with the next successful candidate on the party list who is of the same sex. 

Through the initiative, gender imbalances should be removed and, if passed, the share of women in Parliament will be able to increase to at least 26% by 2020.

“Women account for 52.3% of the 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 – the City Parliament of Tbilisi,” states the Georgian Young Lawyers Association.


Developed countries demonstrate a much higher figure of female representation in political institutions, which is not acceptable and subject to instant change, according to the civil society organizations. Although the number has increased over recent years, the male dominated political establishment is reluctant to speed up the process. At current speed, the removal of gender imbalances would take decades. These imbalances not only concern national governing bodies, such as the Parliament, but also small local institutions. One of the biggest obstacles for women to overcome is the social and economic dependence often imposed by rigid depictions of women and traditions within the general society. 


The general public is in strong support of higher female representation, according to numerous polls conducted over recent years. For Western observers, an initiative with 37,000 signatures may not seem a lot, but organizations point to the inexperience with political participation in the wider public as the main reason.

Below is the list of civil society organizations supporting the initiative:



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.   Open Society Georgia Foundation

12.   Network of Journalists for Gender Equality

13.   Young Feminists’ Initiative Group

14.   Public Initiatives Group

15.   Women for Regional Development

16.   Telavi Gender Media Center

17.   Rustavi Gender Media Center

18.   Gori Gender Media Center

19.   Kutaisi Gender Media Center

20.   Zugdidi Gender Media Center

21.   Ozurgeti Gender Media Center

22.   Batumi Gender Media Center

23.   Akhaltsikhe Gender Media Center

24.   Economic Policy Research Center

25.   Transparency International – Georgia

26.   The Haague Club

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

28.   Studio-mobile Accent on Action

29.   Society of Democratic Women of Marneuli

30.   International Association Women and Business

31.   Association Women of Multinational Georgia

32.   Network of Centers for Democratic Engagement

33.   Initiative Group Women for Georgia

34.   Association of Education and Labor

35.   Helping Hand

36.   Platform for New Opportunities

37.   Women’s Vision

38.   Women from Georgia

39.   For Rights and Education

40.   Georgian Farmers Association

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

42.   Civic Development Association of Georgia

43.   Institute of Democracy

44.   Union of Scientists of Imereti Region Spektri

45.   Nabiji Kharagauli

46.   Multinational Georgia

47.   Demosi

48.   Association Art for Public Interests

49.   Dusheti Development Fund

50.   Friendship Bridge Kartlosi

51.   Guria Youth Resource Center

52.   For the Better Future

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

54.   Center of civil Society and Democracy Development

55.   Association Atinati

56.   Akhaltsikhe Youth Center

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

58.   Samtskhe-Javakheti Media Center

59.   We – for Healthy Future

60.   Association Dea

61.   Association Tolerant

62.   Social Monitoring and Research Center

63.   Apkhazinterkonti Fund

64.   Saunje

65.   Kakheti Regional Development Fund

66.   Tkibuli District Development Fund

67.   Community Union Nukriani

68.   Kutaisi Information Center

69.   Our Pshavi

70.   Civil Activity and Equality Center

71.   Regional Development Center

72.   Biliki

73.   Association Imedi, movement of IDP women for peace

74.   Union for Civil Development

75.   Association Zekari

76.   Union of Young Scientists Intelekti

77.   Green Sector

78.   Good Governance and Education Foundation

79.   Democracy and Effective Governance Center

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

81.   House of Free Journalists

82.   Georgian Reforms Association

83.   Association Zekari

84.   Young Scientists’ Club of Ozurgeti

85.   Association Vejini

86.   Lanckhuti Information Center

87.   Kvemo Kartli Public Information Center

88.   Association Lore

89.   Sika – Georgian Association for Educational Initiatives

90.   Imereti Regional Organization of PWDs for Complete Life

91.   House of Georgian Democracy

92.   Cultural Humanitarian Foundation Sukhumi

93.   Gori Youth Movement Time is Now

94.   Association of Civil Education Lecturers Sela

95.   Young Greens of Georgia

96.   Development and Migration Institute

97.   Taso Foundation

98.   Young socialists

99.   Association of IDP Women Tankhmoba

100.Union of Azerbaijani Women of Georgia

101.Gori Community Development Center

102.    Gori Club of Photographers

103.    Gorri Community Radio Mosaic

104.    Georgian Media Group

105.    Welfare and Development Center of Georgia

106.    Shida Kartli Information Center

107.    Union Step to Future

108.    Association Women and Development

109.    Article 42 of the Constitution

110.    Institute for Development of Freedom of Information

111.    Penal Reform International – Georgia

112.    Iare Pekhit

113.    Education Center

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

115.    Families against Discrimination

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

117.    Down Syndrome Association of Georgia and Social Enterprise Babale

118.    Human Rights Development Foundation


By Benjamin Music

Photo source: Reuters

09 March 2018 13:40