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Women's Rights Organizations Condemn Discriminatory Language, Call for Parliamentary Action

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, April 5, 2024
Organizations in Georgia focused on women's issues strongly condemn the use of discriminatory language against women, deeming it incompatible with parliamentary ethics.

They stress that the failure to implement appropriate measures for each incident cultivates a culture of impunity, which they argue serves as the foundation for the recurrence of similar cases.

The organizations urge the parliament to uphold the constitution, enforce existing codes of ethics and associated sanctions, address violence and clear hostility towards women, and concurrently prioritize the revision of ethical codes and the reinforcement of sanctions.

"Organizations dedicated to women's issues in Georgia strongly condemn the use of language that is discriminatory towards women and incompatible with parliamentary ethics. This condemnation comes in response to the events of April 3, 2024, during the discussion of the abolition of mandatory gender quotas in parliament.

At the first plenary session, we deem the sexist and insulting remarks directed at female MPs by Vakhtang Megrelishvili and Beka Odisharia as unacceptable. Such statements fuel violence and hatred against women.

Despite the evident violation of the Code of Ethics by the MPs, the Parliament of Georgia has not yet responded, and the matter of initiating disciplinary proceedings and imposing appropriate responsibility on parliamentarians who breach the Code of Ethics is not being addressed.

"It should be noted that this is not the first instance of discrimination or abuse against women in Parliament. The failure to take appropriate measures for each incident leads to a culture of impunity, which, based on past experience, fosters the recurrence of similar cases. It is unacceptable for the Parliament of Georgia to tolerate hatred and discrimination against women as a norm of communication. Such an approach, particularly in the context of abolishing gender quotas, will severely impede women's political participation and further marginalize them from decision-making processes.

On behalf of the organizations working on women's issues, we call on the Parliament of Georgia to protect the Constitution, implement the existing code of ethics and associated sanctions, and respond to acts of violence and overt hatred against women. Additionally, we urge the Parliament to prioritize the review of the code of ethics and the strengthening of sanctions," the statement reads.