Moviment Graffitti is calling for gender quotas on candidate lists for the general election instead of the proposed reserved seats in parliament.

With just nine out of 67 Members of Parliament being women, Malta urgently needs a mechanism that ensures all genders are present in parliament, the NGO said.  However, this measure needs to be coupled with studies looking into why women are not making it to parliament.  

It said the gender corrective mechanism as proposed in Parliament - which will see additional seats allocated to the under-represented gender - will only continue to enhance the voice of the two main political parties and enforce the status quo. The gender corrective mechanism as is currently being proposed will only function if there are two parties represented in parliament. The proposed measure will also see the addition of a maximum of 12 seats.

Quotas in candidates’ list would put the onus on parties to address the alarmingly low percentage of female representatives in Parliament without leading to an increase in parliamentary seats or concentrating power further within the two parties, Moviment Graffitti said. 

Gender quotas on candidate lists would allow for a more democratic process than the one currently being debated in parliament.

The NGO said electoral reform should consider having MPs work full-time and having sittings in the morning.  

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