Warning: When Gender Parity is Legislated, Voting For Female Candidates Based Solely on Gender Is Mistake
You’d be hard-pressed to find a sex scandal involving a female politician these days, which begs the question, what if there were more women in politics and in positions of power? Would they change the way business is done from Wall Street to Washington and beyond?
I urge you to watch the entire segment (but you can also read the transcript here, located on page 9):
I particularly love when France’s former first lady (Cecilia Attias, previously married to president Nicolas Sarkozy) talks about how we need to help facilitate getting women into the power pipeline:
ATTIAS: …To get the women to those positions, we just have to facilitate their life before. I mean, when you are…
AMANPOUR: Make it easier for them?
ATTIAS: Of course. You have — when you’re a woman, you have three lives. You’re a woman, you’re a mother, you’re a worker. OK, so we have to try to help them to be able to get to those positions. And that’s why I think we have to take the problem at the very beginning, at the very start.
ATTIAS: Yes, if not, if you have some kids and you want to have the kids, you have to — I mean, it has to be easier for you to get back to work afterwards. So we have to go, first, the first step. That means make life easy for women and then to be able to get to those responsibilities and…
She also offered a very straightforward warning against the approach that people hold their nose and vote for any woman just to reach parity in the number of women elected to office:
The parity laws [in France], that means as much women of — and men in the government. Alain Juppe, who was prime minister at that time, of what we call the Juppete (ph). That means half-women, half-men in his government. It didn’t work. It didn’t work, why? Because we were choosing the women because she was a female, not because she was good.