Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The pathway to an equal parliament

Helen Clark has called for political parties to put more women on their party lists:

Political parties need to promote more women on their lists, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says.

Clark was speaking on Tuesday on a panel at Parliament on efforts to make Parliament's more family friendly.

Parties are the gateways through which most people enter Parliament and need to be "the greatest champions" for equality, she said.

Lists are crucial because research shows fewer women make it into electorate seats.

Though largely that's because parties don't nominate them, or don't nominate them in winnable seats.

Kiwis want a parliament that looks like New Zealand. But we can only elect candidates parties put up. And the reason we don't have an equal parliament, bluntly, is because our two biggest parties are sexist institutions which systematically discriminate against women. And if they don't like that description, maybe they should fix their sexism problem, by ensuring that their party rules provide for equal representation.