A two-day conference on gender equality issues, initiated by the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. Representatives of Election Management Bodies of Eastern Partnership Countries, as well as WEM International (Women in Electoral Management) co-founding EMBs, international organizations and local NGOs participated in the event.
Tamar Zhvania, the CEC Chairperson, Cristian Urse, Head of Council of Europe Office in Georgia and Sophio Japaridze, Assistant to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Human Rights and Gender Equality Issues made welcoming remarks at the conference.
The CEC Chairperson delivered a presentation on gender equality policy of the Election Administration and along with various important directions talked about those training and educational projects that are implemented by the Election Administration in terms of gender equality.
Zurab Khrikadze, Commission Member and the Chair of the Gender Equality Council delivered a speech at the conference and highlighted statistics processed by the Election Administration in gender perspective. He discussed the issues of influence of the additional public funding for candidates defined to ensure gender balance on women representation.
Representatives of the Council of Europe, UN Women, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD), International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and various EMBs delivered the presentations at the event.
“Today, we discuss what more can be done by EMBs and speak on the best practices to increase women representation and protect gender equality in the electoral process as well as in public life. In recent years, positive dynamics exist, however it still does not respond to those international standards and goals that are related to the women’s political representation. Accordingly, the Election Administration actively implements the promoting events, processes data, introduces a number of innovations and educational programs to increase gender representativeness in electoral, as well as in public life”- stated Tamar Zhvania to journalists.
Cristian Urse, Head of CoE Office in Georgia highlighted women’s effective participation to media. As he underlined, the discussion is related to those standards and legislative framework that ensure women engagement. “Though, besides the legislation, during the discussions we speak on maintaining those real and effective possibilities that ensure women’s equal participation in political party candidate lists and create various capacities for them especially by the Election Administration. I think that one of the positive points of the conference is the fact that we gather here the representatives from a number of countries in the region and this is always great opportunity to exchange experiences” – stated Cristian Urse.
The two-day conference, that aims at experience sharing on gender equality issues supports conduct the active discussions and debates.
The event was organized on July 11-12, by the initiative of Election Administration of Georgia with the financial support of the Council of Europe. Countries and Organizations Participating in the Conference:
Representatives of Election Management Bodies:
Georgia, Latvia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine
Council of Europe (CoE), Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD), International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), UN Women, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Women in Electoral Management (WEM International, the CEC is one of the co-founder of the organization), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Heinrich Boell Foundation.
Local Non-Governmental Organizations:
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), Gender Equality Network, Women’s Information Center, Women’s Political Resource Center.
Administration of Prime Minister of Georgia:
Assistant to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Human Rights and Gender Equality