New Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins and quotas


In a speech to the National Press Club, Ms Jenkins is reported as saying - The biggest area of "grave concern" was the growing proportion of young people who accepted violence or discrimination against women, and including young men and women who believed men should be the decision makers in society - Financial Review newspaper 20 April 2016.

The full speech is here. Ms Jenkins identified three priority areas of gendered violence; pay equity; and participation in decision making. On participation Ms Jenkins said:

Women are still significantly under-represented in management and at board level - right across the public, private and community sectors and in government.

Gender equality will never be achieved without women having meaningful and truly representative roles in decision-making and leadership.

And the overall result will be that our companies, institutions, communities --- our country -- will not get to reap the now recognised and quantifiable benefits of diversity.

So, all that needs to change. 

The topic of quotas for women to enter parliament was raised - as reported by the Guardian:

Jenkins was receptive to the idea of quotas for women in politics. 'It’s not for lack of good women that we haven’t seen them come through the system,' she said. 'Targets really focus the mind on getting women through and if targets don’t work, then quotas may well do that.'

Shortly afterwards, the minister for women, Michaelia Cash, indicated that she would be open to implementing targets in the Liberal party. She stepped back from comments from her party colleague, Sharman Stone, who wanted hard quotas instead.

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