Friday, 22 September 2017

LN: Men to dominate Czech parliament even more after elections

ČTK |
14 September 2017

Prague, Sept 13 (CTK) - The new Czech Chamber of Deputies to arise from the October general election is likely to be dominated by men even more than now as fewer women are in upper places of the lists of candidates than in 2013, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote on Wednesday.

The seven parties which are now in the lower house have nominated 107 women for the five top places on the lists of candidates for the October 20-21 election, LN writes, referring to the server Volby.cz ("Election.cz").

Four years ago, their number was ten higher.

At first look, the situation will not offend the fighters for gender equality. The representation of women has slightly increased as they make up 29 percent of all candidates. However, this is the only positive piece of news, LN writes.

"Their places on the lists of candidates are crucial. Unfortunately, there are relatively few women there, roughly one-fourth," Jana Smiggels Kavkova, director of the Forum 50 % NGO which fights for equal representation of men and women in politics, is quoted as saying.

As usual, the lowest share of women is on top of the lists of candidates, a mere one-fifth.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD) complains about this state of affairs, LN writes.

After the previous general election, the Social Democrats pledged to have at least 40 percent of women on their lists of candidates. This really happened, but the women are still not satisfied, it adds.

"The CSSD has reached the mandatory 40 percent share, but there are few women in the places with a real chance of being elected and only two are on the top of the lists of candidates," Marksova, herself number one in the Liberec Region, said.

The Social Democrats have also nominated Marketa Wernerova as their number one in the Karlovy Vary Region.

The opposition TOP 09 has only nominated current Chamber of Deputies member Kristyna Zelienkova on top of its lists of candidates in a single, Zlin Region, LN writes.

ANO, headed by food and media mogul Andrej Babis, a former finance minister, has nominated the biggest number of women, four, to lead them in the regions.

"We do not need any quotas. This is a natural development we have in the movement," Babis is quoted as saying.

The opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is also against the quotas.

"We are opponents of any artificial quotas. Despite this, we have two deputy chairwomen, which is more than in many other parties," ODS leader Petr Fiala said.

The party nominated Ilona Mauritzova and Jana Cernochova as heads of its candidates in the Plzen Region and in Prague, LN writes.

The Direct Democracy Party (SPO) has nominated three women as heads of its lists of candidates, it adds.

Its leader Tomio Okamura said gender did not play any role in this.

"It is the choice of everyone whether to enter politics. I do not intend to evaluate it in any way," Okamura told the paper.

Smiggels Kavkova said the Mayors and Independents had the biggest number of women (five) at the head of their lists of candidates, while the Pirates did not have any.

In 2010, women had the biggest representation, 44, in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. One of them, Miroslava Nemcova (ODS) became its chairwoman.

At present, the Czech Republic has 39 women in the lower house.

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