Take that, gender quota

We can do it!

Fear not, I’m not about to launch into some annoyingly positive mantra, the likes of which litter politicians’ social media accounts on a daily basis, making me want to reach for a bucket in which to express my feelings for such fake jollity.

And, although this post is related to the MEP elections in some ways, I won’t bore you with the obvious – ie, how something is rotten in the state of Europe, with a bunch of right-wing loonies increasingly gaining ground.

Malta has six MEP seats, four of them soon to be occupied by women. Given that usually we’re quite lucky if we get one woman elected, I’d call this a spectacular victory for female participation/empowerment.

Two years ago, when reverse-discrimination threatened to raise its head amidst calls for mandatory female quotas across the EU, my immediate reaction was; are you kidding me?

Giving women preferential treatment undermines this whole ‘equality’ thing and cheapens the achievement of those who got there on their own steam.

Most disagreed vociferously. Many, apparently, still believe that women need allowances to be made for them. What rubbish. Open the door a crack for a smart woman, and she will turn it into a full-blown opportunity, achieving things that some men can’t ever hope for.

On the other hand, offer her a role just because of her gender and because a quota needs to be met, and you are undermining her position and her potential achievements from the get-go.

Who will respect the decision of a CEO, if she only made it there due to some quota? Or that of an MP, an MEP, a director or whatever? When I posed these questions on my column, most of the replies were along the lines that women would not even make it to these positions without a quota.

If there is one good thing that came out of these MEP elections (and do take my quantification literally) it is this; all the naysayers who believed that women cannot succeed without a little bit of help have been proven wrong.

Roberta Metsola, Miriam Dalli, Therese Comodini and Marlene Mizzi. All four have one thing in common. They made it, not because there was a quota to fill, but because they beat their male counterparts fair and square. Well, as fair as any election can be, that is. But that’s a whole different can of worms.

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