A bill to kickstart a gender quota in Parliament will be presented in the coming days, Parliamentary Secretary for Equality Rosianne Cutajar confirmed.
It comprises a bold set of proposals to bring more women into politics and into the House of Representatives ahead of the next general election. It was tabled in Parliament just before the pandemic brought things to a halt.
At its core is a gender correcting mechanism, which would see up to 12 extra seats added in Parliament for women if they make up less than 40% of the House after an election.
In the current parliamentary scenario, the Labour and Nationalist parties would both get six seats, taken by women who failed to get elected on the first round of the electoral process. If a third party were to be elected, they would also benefit from the corrective mechanism.
Both parties have endorsed the bill. However, questions arise as to whether this system could lead to the tokenism of women. A woman with less than 20 first count votes could make their way to Parliament if the bill passes.
The government is adamant on luring more women into power, with a recent Cabinet reshuffle proving to be the most representative of females in Malta’s history.
But even then, just three of Malta’s twenty ministers are women, four make up the 26-person Cabinet and only nine of 67 MPs in Parliament are female.
Want to learn more about gender quotas in Malta? You can read Lovin Malta’s analysis here.