Gender Equality Council Introduces Its Annual Action Plan for 2017

Mar 16, 2017

Opening of the Gender Equality Council meeting. Photo: Parliament of Georgia

Members of the Parliament of Georgia and representatives of international and local organizations gathered at the presentation of the draft Annual Action Plan for Gender Equality on March 16.

The First Deputy Chairperson and the Chair of the Gender Equality Council (GEC), Ms. Tamar Chugoshvili opened the meeting. She noted that the role of GEC has been fundamentally changed because of the changes to the Gender Equality Law. The Gender Equality Council (GEC) remains responsible for setting the gender equality policy of the country while the adoption and implementation of the respective national action plans will be a responsibility of the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality that will be created at the Prime Ministers’ Office and will be accountable to the Parliament.

“I believe that the Council will be composed in the manner to allow effective activity. Our members are the Chairs, Deputy Chairs of the Committees which will allow us lobbying the important issues in the political and legislative processes,” Chugoshvili noted.

The Head of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency in Georgia, Molly Liens, and the UNDP Deputy Head, Shombi Sharp addressed the attendees.

Shombi Sharp hailed the efforts of the Gender Equality Council and pointed out the need of coordinated efforts to induce positive change. “UNDP participates in strengthening democratic institutions together with national partners and donor organizations. Support of the international society is paramount. It enables us to work on such important and vital issues,” Sharp said. He pointed out that the progress that Georgia is achieving in terms of introducing gender-oriented institutional mechanisms is noticeable.

According to Ms. Liens, sustainable development needs women participation in decision and policy making process, while gender equality is important in all the sectors related to public life. She noted that currently 15% of MPs in Georgia are female. “We shall outline higher goals in Georgia to ensure equal participation of men and women in politics”. Sweden is an active supporter of Georgia’s efforts to improve gender equality. 

Tamar Chugoshvili presented four main directions included in the draft Action Plan. These are:

  • Facilitation of definition of main directions of state policy in gender equality sphere and adoption of the new vision of gender equality policy by the Parliament;
  • Facilitation of creation of the legislative framework for gender equality and harmonization thereof with international agreements;
  • Monitoring of the executive branch regarding the gender equality commitments and developing of respective recommendations;
  • Raise public awareness on gender equality and contribute to women empowerment, especially in the lead up to local elections 2017.

“Today, we cherish ambitious plans. We plan implementation of legislative changes and enhancement of Parliamentary oversight. We also plan to invite the executive authority to study the process. We also want to be actively involved in direct communication with the society, to provide them with the information about our activity and importance of women participation, about how to facilitate to development of the country. We heard the positive remarks about the action plan and I believe that we enjoy the greatest support by all the participants to enable us fulfill the tasks we outlined”, - Tamar Chugoshvili said.

The meeting was organized with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) within the framework of the UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality, funded by the Government of Sweden.

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