2015 has been declared as the Year of Women by the President of Georgia as a response to challenges that the country faced in the course of 2014. Georgia is committed to protect women’s rights and promote gender equality. In this regard it is noteworthy that the country has signed the Istanbul Convention in 2014 and plans to ratify it before the end of 2015. In addition, in March 2015, the President and the Speaker of the Parliament have openly declared their support to the introduction of mandatory political quotas to increase women’s participation in politics and respective legal changes will be debated in the Parliament before the end of 2015. And last but not least, Georgia is finishing the implementation of the first phase of its National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security (2012-2015), with experience accumulated and lessons learned.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia ensured effective mobilization of government resources once carrying out the national review of the Beijing +20 in 2014 and also undergoing the periodic review with the CEDAW Committee in July 2014, the concluding comments and observations of which have provided a new blueprint for the policy and legislative developments towards enhancement of women’s rights and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
In 2014, Georgia signed the Association Agreement with the European Union. Thus Georgia took a huge step towards political association and economic integration, development and reform agenda, as well as strengthened cooperation with the EU in all directions. Given these dynamics, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is convinced that Georgia is well positioned to host partners from the European Union and the neighbouring countries to engage them in a high-level discussion on the role that women and enhancement of gender equality play in democratization, development and transition processes.