The 30 percent Quota for Women in Office Proposal Outrages Men

New elections in Haiti mean rewriting the electoral law. The body that does this task is the Transitional College of the Permanent Electoral Council. Its job is also to review proposals submitted by different segments of Haitian society: the Diaspora, political factions, citizen and women's organizations.


One of the proposals submitted is for enforcement of the 30% quota amendment written into the amended 1987 Constitution. This means at least one-third of women must fill positions within the government of Haiti.

Ministers of Women's Issues, Yanick Mézile, and President of the Commission on Women's Rights, Jossie Etienne, are authors of the proposal. Some signatories for the proposal include Fanm Yo La, Women for Democracy, and SOFA.

The method the proposal suggests demands 30% of political coalitions be headed by a woman. At the senatorial level, women suggest a lottery to select three departments at random. For those departments selected, only female candidates may run for election. Coordinator of the Network of Women Candidates to Win, Yolette Mengual, will fight to ensure the proposal's ratification by Parliament. Constitutional law Professor, Monferrier Dorval, claims the proposal is reverse sexism, because men will not be able to run for office in three departments.

The problem with the 30% quota is it can be interpreted and applied in a myriad of ways. Male politicians feel they are being excluded in order for women to be included. Parliament seats are overwhelmingly held by men, so getting ratification will be a long shot.

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Read more: Election, Woman, Yanick Mézile, Quota, People

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