Posted by: madwheel12 | January 14, 2015

Affirmative Action – yea or nay?

In Closing the Leadership Gap: Add Women, Change Everything, Wilson discusses solutions to the under-representation of women in politics. In 1999, a constitutional amendment was added in France that required parties to include women on their ballots or receive a financial penalty. In India in 2001 a similar amendment was passed that reserved a third of all village council seats for women. In Sweden, legislation was passed that resulted in 47.3 percent for women’s political participation. These actions are taken in the political world as well as the market place. Although they do increase female representation, is it in a just way? Women are being hired or elected because a certain quota must be met, or financial charges will ensue. Are these affirmative action policies the only way for women’s representation to increase? I suppose the change must start somewhere and these policies are the immediate solution until women in high positions become natural to society.

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Responses

  1. This is one of those sticky situations we were talking about in class. It’s a situation that demands change, but there does not seem to be a simple solution. Responding with action like reserving 1/3 of seats on a council or requiring a certain percent of women in political participation shows direct results, but it seems to come at a cost. Women lose merit if they are only present to meet a specific quota. In theory it seems effective, but is it just enforcing the idea that women need special treatment to get to leadership positions. Do these gender specific leadership positions positively establish a female presence? There are arguments for both sides, but I think it is the most effective way to start change and see results.


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