Women’s participation in political positions in the region of Adjara: success, problems and perspectives

The situation in Georgia regarding the representation of women in the country’s political processes is hard to describe as satisfactory today. The picture is even worse in the regions, where the women’s participation is more of the exception rather than the rule – these are the views we most often read in different reports and conclusions stated by various international organizations, NGOs and experts working on the issues of gender problems in Georgia. 

Considering these views, the topic – “Women’s participation in the political positions in the region of Adjara: successes, problems and perspective” was discussed during the public debates held in the Plenary Session Room of the Supreme Council of Adjara organized by Heinrich Boell Foundation.

The main speakers of the Batumi January public debates were – Asmat Diasamidze (member of the Supreme Council), Nino Gabunia (head of the NGO “Progress”) and Zurab Tavberidze (representative of the Young Lawyers Association of Adjara branch).

In her speech Asmat Diasamidze, the only one woman in the Supreme Council, talked about the necessity of the higher attention to the gender problems in the country.  She also underlined the need for improvement of the legislative base and the importance of the socio-economic development in the country.  In addition to this, she commented on the positively increasing tendencies of the women’s participation in the governmental sector in the region of Adjara.

The head of the NGO “Progress” Nino Gabunia and the representative of the Young Lawyers Association Zurab Tavberidze discussed the difficult situation regarding the gender issues in the region of Adjara and also talked about the need of the active steps to be taken towards the resolution of this problems from the side of the government before the planned local elections.  They stressed the reasons for the weak representation of women: 1.Traditional barrier: woman is a housewife/mother; 2 Patriarchate structure of the political parties; 3. Non-availability of concrete political course oriented on the voters (especially for the women voters that represent more than a half of the total population).

The further political education and development for the women involved in politics, specially prepared information campaigns for focus groups (trainings, seminars, meetings, informative brochures, thematic competitions, etc) and the most important, the government’s will – these were the recommendations that can support the development process of gender balance in the country.