A group of civil society organizations has submitted a bill to the Parliament envisaging setting mandatory quotas for women to help increase the number of female members in the legislative body.
The bill aims at increasing share of female legislators in the next parliament to at least 25%.
Currently there are 17 female lawmakers, accounting for 11.3% of 150-seat Parliament.
The bill was drafted by the Task Force on Women’s Political Participation, a coalition of local and international organizations that advocate for gender equality and women’s political participation.
The proposal offers introduction of “zipper” system, where male and female candidates appear alternately on party lists.
77 seats in the Parliament are allocated based on proportional, party-list system and remaining 73 seats are distributed to majoritarian MPs from single-mandate constituencies.
The proposal also offers to apply the same “zipper” system to party lists in local elections. According to the Task Force on Women’s Political Participation share of female councilors across the country is 11.6%.
In his annual state of the nation address to the Parliament in March, President Giorgi Margvelashvili reiterated his support towards introduction of mandatory quotas for women in the legislative body.
Speaking at a conference in Tbilisi on women’s political participation in March, parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili said that although in general he’s against of any kind mandatory quotas, he’s “a supporter of equality and if I see that it is impossible to achieve equality without setting quotas, then I become a supporter of quotas.”
Usupashvili, however, also suggested that gaining enough support in the Parliament for the initiative to be passed would not be easy and added that even within his Republican Party, which is part of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, there was no unanimous position over introduction of the quota system.
The Georgian legislation currently envisages financial incentive for parties to include more women in their list of candidates. Task Force on Women’s Political Participation, however, said that this incentive has failed to address the under-representation of women in the Parliament.