Friday, December 23, 2011

Gender Quotas

Because of the fact that women tend to choose life-paths other than involvement in politics there are those who insist that gender quotas should be introduced to ensure that a sufficient number of women choose political life. 
A recent Irish Times news item, in relation to one of the Irish political parties reads as follows:
‘FF commits to making 30% of its local election candidates women’.   I don’t know how FF (Fianna Fáil – the major opposition party) would manage that extraordinary feat!
The news item refers to legislation that is under discussion in the Irish parliament at the moment in relation to the cutting of funding to political parties that do not have a 30 per cent figure of women candidates for election, with the required percentage increasing to 40% in the coming years.      
A former Attorney General, Michael McDowell, has described the legislation as being unconstitutional, and a number of smaller political parties, such as the Christian Democrats and the Christian Solidarity Party, together with family groups and other concerned and sane individuals throughout the country, see in the proposed legislation a move towards blurring the natural and necessary distinctions between men and women.    
There are, too, other far-reaching consequences related to the proposed legislation, and it is interesting to note that the chief proponents of the measure are the Labour Party and radical feminist groups.