Georgian Dream to abolish parliament gender quotas 
Georgian Dream to abolish parliament gender quotas 

The political parties participating in the elections will no longer be obliged to draw up their lists with a gender balance as required under the present legislation on women’s quotas.

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) and opposition Girchi parties forged a political agreement to support the latter’s demand to remove women’s quotas from party lists in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Girchi’s draft law is expected to be discussed by parliament in an expedited manner this week.

In exchange, Girchi will vote for the GD candidate for Central Electoral Commission (CEC) Chair.

Girchi member Iago Khvichia says women do not require men’s assistance to pursue a career in politics.

“It is an insult to women and discrimination when our politicians assume that women require men’s assistance and support to pursue their political careers on an equal basis with men. Quotas in any field based on gender or sexual orientation would harm the reputation of individuals for whom they were adopted,” Khvichia said.

A large part of the parliamentary opposition does not support the abolition of mandatory gender quotas.

Davit Usupashvili, a member of Lelo, stated that this proposal was not Girchi’s brainchild, but rather a Georgian Dream project. “Without the Georgian Dream’s political motive, the idea would remain just Girchi’s idea.”

Khatia Dekanoidze, a Eurooptimist member believes “Georgian Dream sought to eliminate the women’s quota because they had many former majority MPs to appease. Many individuals donate to the party, and they like to see such persons on the list rather than active female politicians.”

Georgian Dream brushed off the accusations, claiming that filling the electoral list with a gender quota was only a temporary measure, and that the main priority for the parliamentary majority today is the election of the chairman and members of the Central Election Commission through broad consensus. Girchi now joins the agreed-upon consensus.

The subject of obligatory quotas was endorsed by the Parliament of the 9th convocation in 2018, and electoral lists for the most recent parliamentary and municipal self-government elections were compiled according to this principle.

According to the still-in-force rule, political parties must maintain a gender balance in their election lists and include every fourth woman on the list. However, during this session week, all three hearings will adopt the election code modifications, and the required gender quota will be legally repealed.