TBILISI, 29 June 2011 – Political party funding and the participation of women in political life in Georgia are the focus of a meeting organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Georgian Central Election Commission which started today. The two-day meeting is organized together with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and the International Foundation for Election Systems.
“Ensuring transparent and accountable funding of political parties, and enhancing women’s meaningful participation in political and public life are challenges across the OSCE region,” said Thomas Vennen, the Head of ODIHR’s Democratization Department.
ODIHR is supporting the reform process in Georgia by sharing good practices in democratic governance from across the OSCE region.
“The level of women’s participation in political and public life in Georgia is among the lowest in the OSCE region. As ‘gatekeepers of democracy’, political parties can and should play a larger role in promoting women as party leaders and decision-makers, and as candidates for public office,” Vennen said.
During the meeting, ODIHR will present findings and good practices from two publications: the Guidelines on Political Party Regulation, jointly produced by ODIHR and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, and the recently-released study Gender Equality in Elected Office: A Six-Step Action Plan. Both focus on the role of political parties in democratic processes.
The meeting brings together representatives from government agencies, political parties, civil society, and international organizations.
This event is part of ODIHR’s ongoing work to strengthen the democratic functioning of political parties and electoral processes, in line with OSCE commitments on political party pluralism and equal representation.