I have been working extensively in Georgia on strategies in increase women´s political participation. While women are significantly underrepresented in Parliament and other leadership positions, the good news is that Georgian citizens are more progressive than their politicians, and there is a visible shift in public opinion about the role women should play in public life as a result.
Recent public opinion polling conducted by the National Democratic Institute shows that Georgians recognize the contribution women could be making in the country with a majority of citizens (52%) who believe it is important to have a greater number of qualified women candidates in the next election. Citizens are also supportive of specific remedies to increase the number of women in elected office, such as providing women candidates with equal access to the media, supported by 75% of Georgians. Georgians also hold political parties accountable for helping develop additional resources for women candidates as well as ensuring access to party financing. Georgians are sensitive to policy issues that could empower more women and reduce discrimination, such as equal pay, maternity leave benefits and quotas. Link to the full report, NDI Georgia Survey
Strategy discussions, leadership training, message research and efforts to prepare female candidates to step up and prepare for a new generation of leadership are all part of the tools to address Georgia´s gender gap.