The Malta Independent 3 October 2022, Monday
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Malta Women’s Lobby laments ‘manipulation’ of gender-balancing mechanism

Saturday, 9 April 2022, 15:42 Last update: about 7 months ago

The Malta Women’s Lobby expressed "serious concern" at the manner in which the current gender-balancing mechanism, introduced to address the democratic deficit that currently plagues our parliamentary set-up, is being manipulated.

The MWL said in a statement Saturday it was pleased to note that, in spite of pressure on some women candidates not to contest the by-election, women have still participated fully in this process. The attempt to manipulate the system is a slap in the face to those who have fair representation at heart. 

Having “another candidate represent a particular constituency” is nothing but a veiled excuse, and it is evident party matters are being prioritised over democratic representation, the lobby said.

It was making reference to the decision taken by PN candidate Janice Chetcuti not to contest the casual election on the third district as she is guaranteed a seat in the House of Representatives via the gender mechanism.

One does not need to be a member of parliament to work for the members of any community, especially if they are already active within the structure of a political party, the lobby said. Additionally, by foregoing the opportunity to contest a  casual election, to then make use of the gender mechanism, means that other women that are in line to benefit from this same mechanism, would be excluded from the process altogether.

Essentially, those women who opt to miss out on the by-election process, are denying that same opportunity to the women candidates who would have possibly agreed to contest the election in view of the stronger chance they stood in making it to parliament and contributing towards addressing the current discrepancy in fair representation.

Women should never be deprived of the rights that they should enjoy freely, to serve those whose sense of entitlement exceeds their sense of duty and fairness.

The Malta Women’s Lobby reiterates its commitment towards seeing that politicians will no longer be allowed to ignore half of the population. The perception of women as second class citizens needs to stop now.

 

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