The Rondeli Foundation in cooperation with Embassy of Sweden in Georgia hosted an online discussion – Democracy Talks Georgia: Women in Politics – Local Elections 2021 and Beyond.

June 8, 14.00-17.00 (Tbilisi) on Zoom.

English and Georgian with simultaneous translation.


• Program

• Abstract


Welcome Remarks

Mr. Erik Illes – Counsellor, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden in Georgia

Eka Metreveli, President of GFSIS

Evija Kotan, Deputy Head of Political, Press and Information Section, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia


Keynote Roundtable Discussion: Personal Perspectives on What Women Politicians Need in Order to Participate in Politics on Equal Terms

The keynote roundtable discussion will provide a space for leading women politicians from Georgia and Sweden to tell their personal stories of success. The participants will by sharing their personal experience underline what kind of resources and support women politicians need from their political parties and/or elsewhere to be able to participate in politics on an equal footing.

Nino Tsilosani, MP Parliament of Georgia, Chairperson of the Permanent Parliamentary Gender Equality Council of Georgia and the Committee on Agrarian Issues

Tinatin Bokuchava, Chairperson of UNM Women

Kerstin Lundgren, Third Deputy Speaker, the Riksdag, Swedish Parliament

Moderator: Nino Dolidze, Executive Director, The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)


Panel Discussion 1: How Political Parties Could Increase Gender Equality on the Local and Central Level of the Political Party Organizations

This panel will discuss what political parties could and perhaps should do to increase gender equality and promote women’s political leadership within the political parties as organizations. The discussion will primarily focus on local and regional levels of the political party organizations, not least considering the upcoming local elections in the fall. However, the actions proposed will also be relevant for the central level of political party development towards greater gender equality.

David Usupashvili, Former Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia

Carola Gunnarsson, First Vice Chairperson of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKR), International Spokesperson for the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and European Vice-President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

Nino Vibliani, First Deputy to the State Representative of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti (TBC)

Natia Ghvinashvili, Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG)

Moderator: Kakha Gogolashvili, Director of EU Studies Center at GFSIS




Panel Discussion 2: Why Political Parties Should Promote Broad Political Representation in Politics

This panel will explore the links between democracy and the importance of broad political participation. Intersectionality aspects will be discussed, as well as what needs to be done by political parties to create a truly inclusive environment for different minorities in political life.

Teona Kupunia, Deputy Director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Georgia

Kamila Mamedova, Director of the Community Radio Marneuli and Head of the Board, Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics

David Darchiashvili, Full Professor of International Relations, Ilia State University, Former Member of the Georgian Parliament.

Tamta Mikeladze, Director of the Equality Policy Programme, Social Justice Center (former EMC)

Moderator: Lela Akiashvili, Human Rights, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Unit Manager, UNDP in Georgia


Closing Remarks

Mr. Erik Illes – Counsellor, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden in Georgia

Eka Metreveli, President of GFSIS

Evija Kotan, Deputy Head of Political, Press and Information Section, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia


Georgia has made some important steps towards greater gender equality in politics, yet women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political decision-making.

For equality and democracy to grow, women’s political leadership and talent needs to be encouraged and made use of in public and political life. Women in Georgia continue to show strong political leadership. However, the right conditions need to be put in place by political party organizations for Georgian society to be able to take full advantage of women politicians’ talents, competencies and skills.

How can the political parties show leadership in providing an inclusive space for both women and men to flourish as democratic leaders on equal terms? How can the notion that a democratic and prosperous society requires women political leaders be translated into practice?

During the event Democracy Talks Georgia, the topics of gender equality, political party organizations and political culture will be explored from different perspectives. The event is forward-looking with the aim of co-creating a list of suggestions for political parties on how to strengthen gender equality internally, in the run up to the local elections in 2021 but also beyond: in-between elections on various levels. Georgian speakers will in dialogue with Swedish counterparts provide some valuable ideas on how such steps could be taken.