Muscat: 'MP gender quota system will only be temporary'

Joseph Muscat stands by MP gender quota stance, insists such a move will only be a temporary measure 

Joseph Muscat was addressing the annual general meeting of the PL's women's section
Joseph Muscat was addressing the annual general meeting of the PL's women's section

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has stood by his recent stance in favour of a gender quota system to boost the number of female MPs, but said that such a move will not be a permanent one.

“Gender quotas will only be a temporary measure to see more women elected to Parliament and eventually they will no longer be needed,” he told the Nisa Laburisti’s annual general meeting on Friday evening.

In his speech, Muscat stressed on the need for women to become more financially independent and urged the public to put forward their ideas to encourage more women to enter politics.

Muscat last week floated a proposal to introduce a gender quota for MPs, that will increase the amount of female MPs without decreasing the amount of male ones.

He said that the proposal will not change the situation for MPs who get elected through the current system, but that female MPs will be elected over and above that, ostensibly suggesting an even more bloated Parliament.

Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli on Wednesday threw her weight behind Muscat’s proposal, arguing that it is necessary to ensure that Parliament is truly representative of society.

However, independent MP and Partit Demokratiku leader Marlene Farrugia came out strongly against the proposal – warning that gender quotas amount to positive discrimination and will deal a blow to the credibility that women have earned over the years.

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola and Labour MEP Miriam Dalli have warned that a quota system risks tokenizing women. 

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