Women in self-government – Gender imbalance in the municipalities of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti
The majority of public officials and members of municipal councils in the municipalities of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region are men.
The present study aims to compare the figures of representation of men and women in the city/town halls of the region’s municipalities as of August 2018 with the situation that existed in April 2016, as well as to compare the representation of women in the municipal councils elected in 2017 and 2014.
The percentage of women has decreased slightly in the municipal councils: whereas women made up 13.33% of members of the municipal councils elected in 2014, their number in the municipal councils elected in 2017 amounts to 12.87%. In 2017, 303 members were elected to the municipal councils of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, 264 of whom were men and 39 were women; out of 289 members elected in 2014, 255 were men and only 34 were women.
In 2014, there were 10 municipalities in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, while after the abolition of the Municipality of the Self-Governing City of Zugdidi, their number decreased to nine. However, the number of members of the municipal councils has risen. This is the reason why the number of women members of the municipal councils has risen, while their percentage has decreased by one point.
The chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of all the nine municipal councils are men, with the exception of the deputy chairperson of the Town Council of Tsalenjikha. In general, there are 147 men and 20 women among the public officials of the municipal councils, with the number of women amounting to 11.9% of the total number of public officials.
The mayors of all the nine municipalities are men, while their 16 deputies only include one woman in the Town Hall of Mestia.
As for heads of municipal services of city/town halls, the majority of them are also men: there are 65 men and 20 women among 85 heads of services. There is a different situation with regard to heads of services in the municipalities of Senaki and Mestia. As of August 2018, the positions of eight heads of services in the Town Hall of Senaki are equally divided between men and women. And in Mestia, in 2018, just as in 2016, the majority of heads of services are women, and their number in both cases is five.
For the first time, the study presents information on the gender distribution of representatives of mayors in administrative units (so-called village administrators).
Out of 172 representatives of mayors of the region’s nine municipalities, 155 are men and 17 are women, with the number of women amounting to 9.88% of the total number of representatives. The mayors of Mestia, Tsalenjikha, Abasha, and Poti only have male representatives in administrative units.