MEP proposes temporary quotas for women

Temporary quotas should be established to give females a better chance of participating in the upper echelons of power, MEP Edward Scicluna said this morning.

Speaking at a conference organised by European Parliament Office in collaboration with the National Council of Women, Prof. Scicluna said he “could not imagine” the committees of the European Parliament without the input of women and it was shameful that Malta did not have female MEP.

“Women give a different, new insight into all kinds of issues – and not just those related to the family,” Prof. Scicluna said, adding that it would be a good idea if a form of quota system were introduced which would enable better participation of women in the upper echelons of power.

The Labour MEP said quotas need only be introduced temporarily “just to break the glass ceiling” and put everyone on a level playing field.

Speaking at the same seminar, Marlene Mizzi, an entrepreneur and candidate for the last European Parliament elections, said the main culprit for the absence of women in these forums was the fault of a culture which placed women in traditional roles. This culture, Ms Mizzi added, could be changed by having co-educational schools, where students learn to respect members of the opposite sex as their equals.

“Women can do everything men can do; but we can do it backwards and on high heels,” Ms Mizzi told the audience.

US Ambassador Douglas Kmiec said it would be a grave loss if women were not represented in all spheres of public life. Rather than use a mechanical term such as “quota,” Prof. Kmiec said the solution should be looked at as a way of “outreach” to a situation where nobody would be overlooked.

Prof. Kmiec called on political parties to take the first step and open their doors to women, following which things would take care of themselves and new ideas which have to be heard are heard.







– : Friday, 16th April, 2010


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