Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The AIE - an all boys club? has just published a worrying analysis. As much as I am a supporter of the AIE, it troubles me that out of fifty-three deputies, only five are women, i.e. less than ten percent. Contrast this with the communist party, where twenty out of forty-eight are women.

The leaders of the four constituent parties need to address why their parliamentary representation is so masculine. Is it to do with the personalities of the leaders? Are there structures within their parties that make it more difficult for women to progress? Are they attracting an equal number of male and female members in the first place.

The problem is not just that it looks bad on paper and that women may be the subject of discrimination. There's also a practical issue; the AIE is a combination of four parties each of whose leaders are male and have strong egos. They will have to work extremely hard to prevent dissension within the coalition.

Women tend to lead in a different way to men. More consensus, more conflict-management, less strutting around like peacocks. A few more women in the mix could be the glue that the AIE needs to stick together.

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