Gender quotas will reverse progress made by women, PD says

The Democratic Party has said it remains against the idea of quotas on female MPs, insisting ‘women are not tuna’

Women are not tuna, insisted the PD
Women are not tuna, insisted the PD

The Democratic Party remains against a proposal to introduce quotas on female members of the Maltese Parliament.

“PD is strictly against the introduction of gender quotas in Parliament as it will set the progress women have made backwards, rather than promote their success,” the party said.

The party said that this form of positive discrimination was unjust, would “further demean women, and was fundamentally undemocratic”.

"We have said it before and we will say it again. Women are not tuna and should not be the subject of quotas. It is degrading to women to introduce quotas, as if they cannot succeed on their merits," PD MP Marlene Farrugia was quoted saying.   

MEP candidate Cami Appelgren argued that equality between men and women is a “hallmark of modern society”, but said gender quotas in Parliament were “not the right kind of progress”.

“I instead believe in empowerment of women, to enable equal opportunities for success. Pushing for equality of outcome through quotas, and using superficial solutions, will cause more problems than we solve," she said.

PD Deputy Leader Timothy Alden added that there were many areas that needed investment and questioned whether the proposed new MPs would come at the expense of the country’s pensions.

“Could the money be better spent elsewhere, especially at a time when there is a national dialogue on full-time MPs? Who is going to cover the bills? What are our priorities? PD is a liberal party, but we know that not everything dressed up as progress is actually progress,” Alden asked

“If we want to help women, then let us empower them, not insult or patronise them by imposing superficial quotas on the nation. After all, half the electorate are women. Is this government insulting their intelligence?"

The PD said it believes in equality between men and women and it therefore opposes “wasteful gender quotas in Parliament, which though a form of positive discrimination, are a form of discrimination nonetheless”.

 “If a government really wanted to fix things it would start by addressing the gender pay gap which is in real life the gender ‘pain’ gap, being so rife and blatant and a major weapon used to blast any possible chance for effective emancipation of women,” Farrugia concluded.

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