On February 9, in its third and final reading the Georgian Parliament approved the amendments to the Election Code on gender quotas with 88 votes in favor and 3 against.
The amendments were adopted under a fast-track procedure and extend the period of validity of gender quotas in proportional party lists until 2032. In addition, the amendments stipulate that every fourth person on the proportional party lists for the elections scheduled for October 26, 2024, as well as for the next parliamentary elections scheduled before 2028, should be a woman (not, as it was specified before, “a person of another sex”). As for the next elections, political parties must include women in every third position on their lists.
Also, if previously a male deputy who had been removed from the party list would be replaced by a deputy of the same gender, after the change, he will be replaced by the following number on the list, irrespective of sex.
Givi Mikanadze, the deputy chairman of the Georgian Dream faction, who presented the amendments at the February 8 plenary session, noted that the initiative would increase gender representation and promote women’s political participation.
Comments from Sapari
Baia Pataraia, head of the Sapari, a major women’s rights network, welcomed the extension of the mandatory gender quotas, saying that “we will have to extend it again.”
“Unfortunately, there is no equal environment and promotion criteria among Georgian political parties. Thus, in all crises, women are relegated to the second front and cannot participate in internal party management. This situation will not improve until 2032 to the extent that we would no longer need the quotas,” she added.
Pataraia also stressed that in addition to extending the duration of the quotas, it is necessary to increase them, as the number of women represented in the Parliament “is still very low.”
Note: This article has been updated to include comments by Baia Pataraia.
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