A consultative document published by the government today proposes an increase of 12 women in Malta’s Parliament.
This will take effect as from the next legislature.
The aim is to increase women’s representation in the House of Representatives. As things stand now, there are only 9 women MPs in Parliament, from a total of 67.
Presenting the idea, parliamentary secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli said that the mechanism is put in place when there are fewer than 40% of MPs of a one of the two sexes.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the proposals will define Malta as a country that is all for inclusion. These are ambitious ideas that will increase representation. No person who is elected will lose their place in the House.
Professor Carmen Sammut, the Chairperson of the Technical Committee for the Strengthening of Democracy, who compiled the document, explained the four main pillars of the reformation.
The reform was described as a historical moment in Maltese politics, as the measures aim towards more equality and voice to the under-represented sex in Parliament.
Sammut said that the amendments proposed do not impinge on the existing electoral process and they are not quotas.
Instead the aim is to integrate a ‘Gender Corrective Mechanism’, which will give an opportunity to candidates from the under-representated sex to gain experience, exposure and influence in decision making. “We are proposing that additional seats be allocated in the eventuality that the under-represented sex obtains a percentage of less than 40%.”
She said that the maximum number of additional seats proposed is 12 and that this proposal requires Constitutional amendments.
“In the eventuality that both sexes obtain 40%, the proposed mechanisms will not be needed anymore. In the event that less than 40% of the elected members are men, the mechanism will automatically be triggered to their advantage.
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Original article found on The Malta Independent