Women Councillors Sign the Pledge of Solidarity in the Wake of Local Election in Georgia

Jul 3, 2017

Photo: Daro Sulakauri/UNDP

Four months ahead of the local self-governance elections in October 2017, female councillors from all regions of Georgia gathered in Tbilisi on July 3 to discuss the ways of increasing participation of women in Georgian politics. The 4th annual Forum of Women Councillors focused on the role of women in local governance, especially in the areas of municipal planning, budgeting, policy-making, and elimination of domestic violence.   

In his address to the Forum, Niels Scott, Head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia, pointed out that political participation of women remains one of the challenges for the country.

“Participation of women is critical for bringing government closer to people. In Georgia, this is still the exception rather than the norm. Women make up only 11.8% percent of local council members, all 12 directly elected mayors are men, and only one out of 59 directly elected heads of local administrations is a woman. Together we can change that. The coming elections is an opportunity to achieve more gender equality in local governance and to ensure greater progress and better social policies for the whole country,” Niels Scott said. 

The 4th annual Forum was the opportunity for the women councillors to meet representatives of the Georgian Government, Parliament, civil society and international organizations.

Martina Quick – Ambassador of Sweden to Georgia; Guguli Magradze – MP, Member of Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia; Irakli Matkava – Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia; and Giorgi Datunashvili – Chairman of the Municipal Service Providers Association (MSPA), addressed the participants of the event.

The Forum participants presented the report of their work in 2017 and discussed the existing gender policies in Georgia as well as the mechanisms of engaging citizens at local level.

To emphasize their support to all women candidates in the coming elections regardless of their political affiliation, members of the Forum signed the pledge of solidarity.

The Forum of Women Councillors was established in 2013, in cooperation with the Municipal Service Providers’ Association (MSPA) of Georgia and with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Government of Sweden, under the Swedish-funded UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality.  

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