Republicans-logoTBILISI, DFWatch–In the former Soviet republic Georgia, the Republican Party has proposed legislation that will make femicide a separate crime – a gender-based hate crime which is causing alarm in the country.

The Republicans, a party formed by Soviet dissenters in the 1970s, explained the proposal in a statement as a response to an increased number of murders of women and girls on account of their gender.

“The aim of the proposed amendments is to protect women’s right in Georgia and ensure the equality of men and women. We want the law to recognize a murder of a woman which is conditioned by sexism, or a desire to take possession over the woman, or a proprietary attitude toward her, as an especially grave crime,” the statement reads.

The year 2017 has only just begun but already one woman has been killed by her ex-husband in Tbilisi. Another woman was thrown from the second floor of a building and hospitalized with severe injuries.

Violence against women at the hands of former or current spouses is a challenge for the country’s law enforcement authorities.

The Public Defender highlighted that the reality of violence against women and domestic violence is “very grim” throughout the country. Based on the number of restraining orders issued in 2015, there were around 3,000 cases of domestic violence.

According to data from the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, 28 cases of murder and attempted murder of women were reported in 2015. Out of these, 16 cases were domestic violence. The majority of the crimes were committed by partners, former partners or by a person who had been denied partner relations.