With women holding only 15 percent of seats in Parliament, Georgia ranks at a worrying 53rd place out of 56 countries in Europe and Central Asia. If current trends prevail, the country stands almost no chance of reaching the Sustainable Development Goal target of gender parity in parliamentary representation by 2030, according to UNDP’s new #EqualFuture platform.

Covering the 56 countries in the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) region, #EqualFuture uses up-to-date data, estimated projections, as well as personal stories to provide country-by-country snapshots of women’s participation in parliament. The interactive platform also analyses some of the root causes that hold women back from taking an active role in politics.

In Georgia, women's participation in parliament has been mostly stagnating over the past 25 years, rising only to 15 percent in 2019 from 7 percent in 1995. Elsewhere in Europe and Central Asia, women’s representation in national parliaments has made bigger gains; the average for the region, at 24.6 percent, is close to the global average of 24.9 percent. Yet even this remains a huge distance from the parity target.

“Looking at Georgia’s place at the low end of the rating and with parliamentary elections just around the corner, we call for resolute action to reverse this trend,” said Louisa Vinton, UNDP Head in Georgia.  “It’s staggering to see that the vast potential of Georgia’s capable, courageous and well-educated women is still not being recognized and leveraged for the political, social and economic advancement of the country.”

The new UNDP platform shows that, 25 years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, politics still remains overwhelmingly a men’s domain. More women are in parliament and government, but globally women are not even a quarter of all elected politicians.

Women aspiring to political careers face discrimination, political landscapes dominated by men, lack of funding, and prejudice against women in politics, media and society. In addition, violence against women politicians is on the rise, compounded by vicious gender-based cyber violence.

UNDP’s #EqualFuture shows that gender quotas have often been a critical first step to help more women enter the ranks of elected politicians. Of the eleven countries in Europe and Central Asia that have adopted gender quotas, eight have seen an increase in the number of women in parliament. However, more comprehensive measures need to be taken to create meaningful gender equality in the political landscape.

Ahead of International Women’s Day and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, #EqualFuture has been created by UNDP to generate greater public awareness of the critical importance to fulfil commitments made by the world’s governments and achieve gender equality in all areas of life, including political decision-making.

Check out Equal Future here: https://equalfuture.eurasia.undp.org/

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