National and local authorities in Georgia join hands to discuss how to advance gender equality in local self-governments in line with the 2016 amendments to the Gender Equality Law. The first national conference on 15 May 2018 brought together representatives of the Georgian Government and Parliament, as well as mayors of all self-governing cities and municipalities, chairs of local councils/sakrebulos and municipal gender equality councils, and local gender equality focal points.
Tamar Chugoshvili, First Vice Speaker and Chairperson of the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia; Kakha Kaladze, Mayor of Tbilisi, President of the National Association of the Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG); and Mzia Giorgobiani, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, welcomed the participants of the forum.
This was followed by the addresses from Sophio Japaridze, Assistant to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Human Rights and Gender Equality Issues, Chair of the Inter-Agency Commission on Gender Equality, Violence against Women and Domestic Violence; Laura Thornton, Global Associate/Senior Director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI); and Munkhtuya Altangerel, Deputy Head of the United Nations Development Programme in Georgia.
The 2016 amendments to Georgia’s Law on Gender Equality place gender equality in the centre of local self-governance. According to the amendments, gender equality councils must be established at the local councils (sakrebulos) and mayors of each municipality shall appoint designated civil servants responsible for addressing the matters related to gender equality.
Practical implementation of this legislation, coordinated efforts and common strategies of the national and local governments, and the enhancement of institutional mechanisms for achieving gender equality at the local level were in focus of the discussions at the conference.
Mayors of Zugdidi, Ninotsimnda and Ozurgeti, and the local council head from Akhmeta shared experience of their municipalities in achieving gender equality and discussed concrete ways of moving forward.
The event was organised by the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia and National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) in partnership with NDI and UNDP.