Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Of women and CoWs

I will stray from politics as some are uber-annoyed when I as much as mention politics. I thought the august, austere and awesome world of politics needed a bit of a smile, even just my kind of twisted and forced smile.

Women’s day was celebrated recently but I missed out on that great occasion to render homage to all the women in the world. Hurray, as the cliché goes, to all the so-called weaker sex: where would we be without mothers, wives, partners, sisters, girlfriends and the occasional calendar girl? I promise there is no gun pointed to my head to force me to admit this. I do think, believe and confirm that the opposite sex—let no one call them weaker— is gravely and constantly needed.

My duty done to all women I now move on to more important stuff. The Council of Women (COW?) issued a most interesting statement about the state of women in Malta. The bovine abbreviation is my invention and does not—in any way—reflect my feelings about the national council or women in general. As I stated above I have only awe and appreciation for women of all ages and sizes.

On to the statement now.

The Council of Women, as expected from most women in committees and other bodies like the EU, stated that quotas should be introduced through which more women would be chosen for parliament and other places like company boardrooms.

As various other commentators, employers’ representatives and more erudite bloggers—even women — have pointed out this is total garbage. If we need more female MPs why can’t women voters vote them in?

And if the Council of Women feels that not enough candidates are being presented by the political parties why don’t they join the fray? Get on with it, organise a women-only party and stand for election. Then you can take over this island’s government and get all our roads fixed and deficits dumped. We might see larger, more advanced places like Germany follow suit and put in women at the helm.

Asking and exhorting political parties to have quotas won’t solve much; the parties—who will do anything to garner votes— will ultimately get more women on board through these recommended and silly quotas. True, these women will be elected but only because the rules would favour them and stipulate their election. Most probably they won’t be too good at their job.

Whatever the Council or the EU says, if people are chosen not on their merit or qualities but just for their colour, sex or creed it’s as bad as authorising asses to run our country or companies or local councils.

I’ve just seen the local council results and it doesn’t seem as if women are coming on top. Pity: we sure needed a change from more boring male-dominated politics.

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