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Carolyn Cooper voice support for gender-based quota system in Parliament

Published:Thursday | March 13, 2014 | 1:58 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

University of the West Indies Professor Carolyn Cooper says a quota system to get more women represented in the Parliament would be an aggressive step to address gender imbalance.

Government Senator Imani Duncan-Price has called for a law mandating that neither gender would fill more than 60 per cent nor fewer than 40 per cent of the appointed or elected positions in the Senate or the House of Representatives.

Professor Cooper says the method has worked well in countries such as South Africa.

According to her, if Jamaica waits for natural justice, it could take forever as men in a patriarchal society will not give up power easily.

She says with the presence of the quota system, women who would not ordinarily go into politics will find it attractive.

Professor Cooper says deliberately pushing for more women in government is a matter of priority.

Women now represent 12.7 per cent of the members of parliament, 20 per cent of the Cabinet, and 28.6 per cent of the Senate.

Senator Duncan-Price says the quota system would be a special measure and if accepted, would be instituted for only two terms or a maximum of 10 years.


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