Parliament Speaker Addresses 145th Assembly of Inter-parliamentary Union

Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili is visiting Kigali, Rwanda, to attend the 145th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), where he has already delivered a speech to the Assembly and met with dignitaries.

The IPU is a global organization of national parliaments which unites 178 member parliaments. The theme of the 145th assembly, which is meeting from 11-15 October, is “gender equality and gender-sensitive parliaments as drivers of change for a more resilient and peaceful world…” The Assembly is expected to debate the subject and other key issues. 

Speaker Papuashvili’s Address

Speaker Papuashvili detailed the steps taken by the Georgian Parliament to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in his speech and remarked that “Parliaments can indeed make a substantial contribution to women’s empowerment – gender-sensitive parliaments can be the drivers of change and make our societies more equal and more resilient.”

“Considering various contemporary crises, including armed conflicts, health crises, and their social-economic consequences that especially affect women and girls, addressing issues of gender equality gains more relevance,” he stressed.

Bringing attention to the steps taken by Georgia to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, the Speaker began by highlighting the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination which Georgia adopted in 2014.

The Speaker also spoke about Georgia’s efforts to align national legislation with the Istanbul Convention and explained that the country had strengthened national institutional frameworks, amended stalking and sexual harassment laws, and enforced clauses outlawing forced marriage.

Regarding the Labor Code and gender equality, Speaker Papuashvili underlined the introduction of defined rules for paid leave for pregnant women and new mothers. “Furthermore, the employer is now obliged to ensure equal pay for equal work performed by women and men,” he added.

In reference to the representation of women in politics, Speaker Papuashvili posited that since the introduction of mandatory gender quotas to increase women’s political participation in 2020, “the number of elected women almost doubled.” “In order to achieve progress on gender equality, parliaments should be gender sensitive in their composition, structure, and everyday work,” he emphasized.

The Speaker pointed out that Georgia’s efforts on this issue have “increased even more” since the country moved toward EU membership and explained that the relevant Parliamentary committee is currently working on amending Georgia’s State Concept of Gender Equality and the law of Georgia on gender equality.

During his speech, Speaker Papuashvili also pledged to adopt the Women’s Economic Empowerment Concept, aimed at improving women’s economic opportunities.

The Speaker reiterated that the Georgian Parliament is “ready to cooperate and share the best experiences with and from any interested partner Parliament on this matter.”

Meetings with Colleagues

Within the framework of his visit to Rwanda, Speaker Papuashvili also met with the Vice Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Oleksandr Kornienko, to discuss, among other issues, the European integration process of the two countries.

In that context, Speaker Papuashvili focused on Georgia’s progress in fulfilling the European Commission’s 12 recommendations.

The Speaker also reaffirmed Georgia’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and noted that the current war is a “big challenge” for European security.

On his part, Korniyenko tweeted, “Georgian people have suffered from Russian terror as well. therefore, they understand why we insist that the whole world must recognize Russia as a sponsor of international terrorism and hold them fully liable for their actions. We thanked the delegation for fraternal concern.”

On the same day, Speaker Papuashvili met with the Chairman of the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire, Adama Bictogo to discuss how to strengthen parliamentary ties.

According to Parliament’s press service, Speaker Papuashvili expressed his gratitude for Côte d’Ivoire’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity while briefing Bictogo on the situation in Georgia’s occupied regions.

Before that, on 12 October, Speaker Papuashvili met with the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Kim Jin-Pyo, to discuss bilateral cooperation.

Speaker Papuashvili also expressed his gratitude for Korea’s support to Georgia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meeting with Members of the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

On 13 October, Speaker Papuashvili also had the opportunity to meet with members of the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to discuss Russian aggression in Ukraine, the regional security situation, and NATO-Georgia relations.

The Parliament’s press service noted that Georgia’s role as a “reliable and responsible partner of NATO” had been noted alongside the alliance’s continued support for Georgia’s NATO integration.

Speaker Papuashvili thanked members of the Committee for NATO’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and democratic development.

The Georgian Parliamentary delegation left for Rwanda on 11 October to attend the 145th IPU Assembly and will be there until the 16th of October. Speaker Papuashvili is accompanied on his trip by Nikoloz Samkharadze, Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee, Khatia Tsilosani, the first deputy Chairperson of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee, and Aleksandre Rakviashvili, a member of the Girchi party.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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