Women MPs needed

I blog at Stuff:

There are not a lot of glass ceilings left in New Zealand for women to break through. Two of the last three prime ministers were women. Two of the last five governors-general were women. The Speaker of the House before the current one was a woman. The chief justice role has been held by a woman since 1999 and Dame Sian is not due to retire until 2021. Also the then largest company in New Zealand (Telecom) was headed by a woman just a few years ago. …

Though in 2011 there are not many glass ceilings to break, there is still a serious under-representation of women in Parliament. Sadly the proportion of women in Parliament dropped this year for the first time since 1996.

Now I’m not one of those who advocates that Parliament must or should exactly match the population in gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, left-handedness and so on. I think competence and quality is the most important qualification. However, so long as the MPs are high quality and competent, I think it is desirable that Parliament is indeed a House of Representatives, and our Representatives do reflect the diversity of New Zealand.

So I would like to see more quality, competent women elected into Parliament. But working out what the major barriers are is not so easy. …


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