Are quotas the right way to get women involved with politics?

By Jen Thorpe

This year, only one political party (the ANC) has a 50:50 party list. Other parties have not implemented quotas on a local or national government election level. At a recent gender and elections issue tweet -up, Janine Hicks of the Commission for Gender Equality said that a combination of quotas and the PR list would improve women’s chances of occupying a position in government.

Lisa Vetten from the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre said that whilst this was important, it was also important to look at who those women were. Often, women in politics act in the interests of the party, rather than women. As a result, even if we had many women in place it might not mean positive changes for women. If party manifestoes were not gendered, it would mean that women in government would not be able to act in the interests of women.

So what do you think? Would a quota system get more women to act on behalf of women? What would be the alternatives? Would love your feedback here.



1 thought on “Are quotas the right way to get women involved with politics?”

  1. I would love to say, “yes”, but I sincerely doubt it. If you look at the state of our national sports, I would say the quota system hasn’t done much to improve anything. And it’s as you say: the women placed into politics by the quota system would have to be working according to their own agenda regarding gender, as it is clear that political parties are not too interested in women’s rights currently.


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