We call on the Parliament of Georgia to take immediate action regarding the fact of insulting female MPs
Women's Information Center, along with our colleagues and friends, responds to the incident that occurred in the Parliament of Georgia on October 31, when members of the parliamentary majority verbally insulted female deputies.
We emphasize that in the highest legislative body of the country, there has been a clear manifestation of sexism, misogyny, harassment, and bullying.
We remind the members of parliament of the resolution of the legislative body "On the approval of the code of ethics for the members of the parliament of Georgia," the implementation of which we find problematic. According to the Code, it is not allowed for a member of the Parliament of Georgia to engage in insulting, obscene, sexist, discriminatory speech, appeals, actions, or other use of hate speech (Article 3, Rules of Conduct).
Violations of the Code are in stark contrast to its goals, which aim to establish high ethical standards of behavior for members of the Parliament before the state and society, contributing to building trust in the Parliament of Georgia and safeguarding the reputation, honor, and dignity.
Organizations working on women's rights in Georgia have exerted great efforts to achieve gender equality and improve the legal status of women. We continue to work to maintain these hard-won results, and it is disheartening that, instead of advancing these gains, there is a regression.
For the gender policy of a democratic country to promote equality, women's political participation should not be hindered in any way, and only supportive messages should be heard from decision-makers. The incident in the parliament demoralizes women who wish to actively engage in political processes or become policymakers.
We underscore that a country cannot achieve equality when the highest representative and legislative body of the government blatantly violates women's rights and promotes the reinforcement of patriarchy. Moreover, this contributes to the resurgence of violence against women, amidst alarmingly increasing cases of femicide.
Furthermore, we request the creation of an effective mechanism for imposing sanctions on deputies who violate the code of ethics, based on European experience.
According to international practice, sanctions vary between countries and legislatures and may include the deprivation of the right to speak, a warning from the Speaker of Parliament or an authorized representative of the legislature, reprimand, financial penalties, suspension of mandate, and expulsion.
We call on the Parliament of Georgia, especially the Ethics Council of the Parliament and the Standing Gender Equality Council of the Parliament, as well as each deputy individually, to respond promptly to the mentioned fact.
This statement is open for signatures, and we encourage you to add your support as a comment.