more correctly the lack of them.
Ed Miliband took pleasure in pointing out that the Tory front bench did not have a single woman on
it during PMQs on Wednesday.
Four women in the cabinet, one in five of the front bench are women. The other side of the house is a
bit better but not by much. Certainly there is nowhere near a 50% representation.
Many of today’s papers are covering this issue and there have been the usual calls springing up to
bring in quotas and bring back women only selections for the upcoming MEP and general elections.
What Ed Miliband was talking about was this:
how quotas to force more women into politics is the best idea, which it is not.
Quotas for women in politics, 50% of all MPs and ministers must be women regardless of the wishes
of the electorate, the Prime Minister or anyone else for that matter.
How about the number of black, Asian or Oriental people in public office, how about a quota for
religions, how about sexual quotas, are their enough Gay and Lesbian MPs or ministers.
We had a huge influx of female MPs in 1997, 101 in the Labour Party, what happened to them.
The Tories were boosting about how many female MPs they bought into parliament in the last election.
Where are they now, what happened to them?
Labour had packed its front bench and the bench behind it with women for the photo op, in fact there
are so many of them in the picture they barely have room to move and are all squeezed against each
other or Ed Balls, clearly not a comfortable place to be.
men. To dismiss those who ask why this is and simply force through a change based on quotas is
foolish; it ignores the reason why so few women are in those roles and the women who end up there
as a result of quotas start with a stigma of being given the job because they have ovaries not testes.
Quotas ignore ability or skill, they bring in a candidate who is not the best available but is there because
they are the right gender or ethnic type. Even if the best candidate for the job is a woman the fact that
there is a quota system diminishes her achievements and weakens her position from the very first day.
I know we are talking about politics here and the best person for the job is almost always not a politician
but the same logic applies, getting elected purely on the grounds of being a woman or forcing into effect
a system where only women can be elected is sexist and discriminatory and worst of all it is deeply
harmful to the women themselves.
Not only are they now in a job that they got because they are a woman, regardless of any other
considerations that stigma hangs over the head of every person selected because they fill a minority
slot on a quota, Even when they leave that job and move on, whatever they achieved is overshadowed
by that same stigma, "yes she seemed to do a good job but they only gave her the position becasue she
was a woman so they probably gave her the easy problems while she was there".
But they are in a job that has attracted very few women for probably many very real reasons, so they
are then trapped in a situation that is not friendly towards women and one in which the reasons why
women are not happy have been ignored in favour of a short time highly visible sticky plaster.
A quota does not solve the problem, in fact it ignores the reason for the problem in an effort of covering
up the fact that there is a problem in the fastest time possible.
Ask the women who have been elected as MPs and then quit the real reason why they are leaving, the
public excuses they give seem more than a little political. Find out why women are not happy in
Parliament, is it the fact that they are working alongside a bunch of bullying, overly aggressive thugs
who place party and personal gain ahead of anything else.
Do they not like the lying, the corruption, the lack of freedom to vote and act as they see best.
Quotas do not solve the problem, they will just put in place another short term patch to hide the real
problem and leave yet another group of idealistic women to spend a few years in a job they seem to
hate and leave at the first opportunity.
We have already seen attempts to impose all women lists for elections, what other ideas can people
come up with to remove the Democratic choice from our democratic system?
Is there a huge problem here, yes there is.
But find out WHY there is a problem, don't put sticky plasters over the cracks and call it solved.