Monday, March 20, 2017

43% of the Georgian public support more women in parliament

In Georgia, women are in few political decision making positions. Following the October 2016 elections, women hold 16% of the seats in parliament, the highest percent in the country’s history. Nonetheless, Georgia ranks 119th in the world when it comes to women’s representation in parliament.

Since 2014, there have been debates in Georgia about the introduction of a gender quota for electoral lists. In 2015, parliament started to discuss a proposal by the Task Force on Women’s Political Participation. Although the initiative was ultimately voted down in December 2016, the results of CRRR/NDI surveys conducted in March and June 2016 suggest that approximately equal shares of the population believe that increasing the number of female members of parliament (MPs) would either have a positive impact on the country (43%), or will have no impact (39%).

There is nearly no differences by gender in the responses.

The differences between the opinions of people living in different settlement types are within the average margin of error. Approximately equal shares of the residents of the capital, other urban settlements, rural settlements and ethnic minority settlements report that having more women in parliament will have a positive impact on Georgia. At the same time, shares of those choosing other answer options vary, especially so in ethnic minority settlements.

A majority (71%) think the best proportion of men and women in parliament would be higher than at present.

Many in Georgia think that having more female MPs will have a positive impact on the country, although almost the same share of the population believes that this will have no impact. Nearly equal shares of men and women think that increasing the number of women in parliament would have a positive impact on the country. This belief is consistent in different settlement types.

All the above, taken together, suggests that the Georgian public would likely support, or at least not oppose, more women in parliament. Given that the government committed itself to further electoral system reform and the Georgian public wants more women in parliament, the government should continue to consider the inclusion of gender quotas in electoral lists.

To explore the data in greater depth, visit CRRC’s Online Data Analysis tool.

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