Bill calling for gender quota in national elections voted down ({{commentsTotal}})

Marianne Mikko submitting her gender quota bill, April 2017.
Marianne Mikko submitting her gender quota bill, April 2017. Source: (Riigikogu)

Following a recommendation by the Constitutional Committee, the Riigikogu voted down a bill by MP Marianne Mikko (SDE) that called for an equal number of women and men among the first 20 names of any voting list in a state-level election.

The bill was rejected with 48 to 16 votes and one abstention. Leading up to the vote, the Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee had recommended this step, with a majority of its members agreeing that there was “no need” for such a law.

MP Mart Nutt (IRL), who was appointed the committee member handling the issue, told ERR on Tuesday that equal rights were to be “guaranteed by other means than the law and through legally enforced quotas”.

Nutt added that there “usually were no quotes” in countries where women were more represented, the Nordic countries among them. On the other hand, countries had quotes that had serious issues with gender equality and democracy, Nutt added.

The bill called for an equal number of women and men on voting lists in state-level elections. The bill's initiator, Marianne Mikko, said that any list where men and women are to be treated equally needed to be “striped”, i.e. a man followed by a woman followed by a man, and so on.

“I think that this worthy principle should be turned into a law that applies to all parties. Without exception,” Mikko said.

Mikko's bill had the support of fellow party members Hardi Volmer, Tanel Talve, Toomas Jürgenstein, Liisa Oviir, Heljo Pikhof, Kalvi Kõva, Inara Luigas, Barbi Pilvre, and Eiki Nestor as well as Center Party members Toomas Vitsut, Jaanus Karilaid, Erki Savisaar and Dmitri Dmitrjev.

Editor: Dario Cavegn



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