Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tokenism

The Labour Party conference voted yesterday for a mandatory quota of at least 50% women members of Labour Party Local Electorate Committees (LEC's).

We reckon that this is tokenism of the worst kind. Labour claims to be a progressive party, yet having to mandate a quota for women is not progressive at all; it's totally regressive.

So what will be next? 50% Maori? 50% Rainbow? Or will it be the ultimate; 50% unionist? The mind well and truly boggles!

We have been told for years that girls can do anything, and it's true. Being female didn't stop Dame Jenny Shipley from becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand. Nor did femininity stop Helen Clark from becoming leader of the Labour Party, being elected as Prime Minister three times and being appointed as head of the UNDP. Did they need a quota to get ahead? Absolutely not.

Attention has focused on the Labour leadership this weekend, and this rule change has slipped under the radar. It ought not have. Rather than being a positive, this rule is actually demeaning to women because it implies that they cannot get ahead on their own merits.

Once again, in a rush to be all things to all people Labour has shown that as a party and not just a caucus of MP's, it has learned nothing from the defeats of 2008 and 2011. Tokenism has no place in 21st century society.

8 comments:

Pete George said...

No, it won't need to be 50% unionist, they'll be happy with their 20% casting vote on the leadership.

Edward the Confessor said...

You don't know the definition of tokenism do you? Suggest you look it up, and while you're doing that think about Tau Henare.

Keeping Stock said...

I disagree Pete; unionists are NEVER happy until that have complete control.

Keeping Stock said...

So let's just get this straight Edward; you support a system that allows one gender to get dominance, but expressly prevents another to do likewise? After all, the remit required LEC's to have a MINIMUM of 50% females, but sets no maximum. That sounds like gender discrimination to me.

I would have thought that you would have been a supporter of promotion on merit, not because of genitalia or chromosones.

Keeping Stock said...

I will concede that "Tokenism" is probably not the best choice of title for this post. Perhaps I should have entitled it "Has Labour breached the Human Rights Act?".

maxx said...

The idea of quotas for women is simply government enforced male chivalry. Men must stand aside and let the women go first.

Pete George said...

This is actually gobsmacking. So 51% male representation won't be allowed, but 100% women would be?

Keeping Stock said...

And therein lies the problem Pete. It is discriminatory towards men and patronizing towards women.