In New Zealand we are pretty proud of leading the way for women's electoral representation, or at least being near the front of the pack. But when it comes to women in Parliament Rwanda has us beat hands down. As Idiot/Savant reports, they've just elected the world's first female majority Parliament, and the current figure of 44 women out of 80 seats may increase further if women are elected to quota seats put aside for youth and the disabled.
How have they done it? Well they've used quotas - Little Miss Brightside has more on how this works in the Rwandan context, and it seems to have been a move that evolved out of the ruins created by genocide in their nation in the recent past.
Which raises the question in my mind; are quotas the only way to achieve a break-through of this nature? In the analysis I've been doing of the place of women on party lists the Greens have stuck out so far, and they do have a firm commitment to a (loosely) quota-based system for women's representation.
What do you think dear readers? Do we need a women's (or indeed Maori, or Pasifika, or non-hetero, or indeed any other) quota in our Parliament? Would such a move be a good idea as an interim measure, or on a permanent basis, or do you just think it sucks the big kumara beyond belief?