[EDITORIALS]Make haste more slowlyThe Grand National Party has decided to champion a women-only electoral district system. The Millennium Democratic Party and Our Open Party have also expressed willingness to adopt the system. If the plan were adopted, 26 seats in the Assembly would be allocated to women.
Expanding their participation in politics has been a long-cherished wish of women. In the current Assembly, women make up only 6 percent of the total, far from the world average of 16 percent. In our local councils, the ratio is even lower ― only 2.2 percent ― and female local government heads are fewer than 1 percent of the total number. To change this reality, a national association for political reform recommended raising the ratio of women lawmakers to 15 percent.
Women’s participation in political decision-making is important because it would help society to develop without gender bias. Especially in the legislature, which makes laws that regulate people’s lives and supervises the national administration, there must be a balance in viewpoints. When politics were monopolized by men, a unique culture of hiding illegalities by forming groups based on regional or school ties was created. If women, who are less influenced by those negative networks and the old practices of politics, would get into the business, they could create a new wind of change.
For these reasons, we hope that more women will be elected in April. But the introduction of women-only electoral districts is going too far. It amounts to giving special favors; it not only violates the principle of equality but also distorts the legislative system. How can we think of electoral districts that are only for women candidates? Inflating the number of women lawmakers artificially can create obstacles to future development. It could be just a political ploy to curry favor with women.
We have a proportional representation system that could be used for this purpose. Under current law, political parties must allocate more than half of their proportional seats to women. In party nominations of electoral candidates, there is also a surge of female candidates. Given all that, we do not need to solve all our problems, and risk creating new ones, at one stroke.