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MfD: Social Democrats trapped by women’s quotas

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Prague, Jan 6 (CTK) – Women’s quotas introduced by the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) have turned against the party’s women themselves as one of them had to be withdrawn from a local list of candidates, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
There was only one man on the five places of the list of Social Democrat candidates for the regional elections to be held later this year in the district town of Prostejov, south Moravia, MfD writes.
As a result, one woman, Prostejov Mayor Alena Raskova, had to be withdrawn from it, it adds.
“I will not be on the list of candidates. We have agreed on this. But this was my decision,” Raskova is quoted as saying.
She said she was at first to occupy the third place on the list of candidates, but eventually a man ended up in “her” place, MfD writes.
The quotas do not set down any positions, but the general rule that 40 percent of the places on the lists of candidates must be filled by the opposite sex.
The quotas are being filled “without any major problems,” CSSD deputy chairman Jan Hamacek is quoted as saying.
“There is the objective of raising women’s representation, but this applies to both sides. Now we will have the highest percentage of women in history,” Hamacek said.
“The quotas were introduced and in this case, they also defend men, which hardly everyone realises,” Raskova said.
“I do not think the quotas are mostly quite useful. They may harm some,” she added.
She said women in the party were able to make their mark even without any quotas.
Nevertheless, sometimes it happens in the party that women are proposed only to fill in the quotas, MfD writes.
Central Bohemia deputy regional governor Zuzana Moravcikova ended on the place of the list of candidates with no chance of being elected, MfD writes.
“I believed that I will be successful in my district. However, the first and second places were occupied by men and I am only in the third place,” she told the paper.
“This means for the regional list of candidates that I will be in a place from which I cannot be elected, but I have to admit that the quota was filled,” she added.
“I am upset. This was certainly not my decision, but I accept the will of the committee,” Moravcikova said.
Some Social Democrat branches in north Bohemia are afraid of the quotas, MfD writes.
“The districts will probably offer us 40 percent of women, but the list of candidates will eventually be formed by the regional CSSD. This will be the biggest puzzle,” Jaroslav Foldyna, a Social Democrat leader from the Usti Region, is quoted as saying.
Forty percent is a high figure, Foldyna said.
“On the regional level, I am not aware of such a number of women that would be able to attract the public,” he added.

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