Male Deputies Say Quota for Russian Female Parliamentarians Unconstitutional
Monday, April 18, 2005 9:55 AM

The State Duma on 15 April rejected by a vote of 226 to 117 an amendment that would set a minimum 30 percent representation for women in the federal and regional legislatures, RosBalt reported. The amendment was introduced by Yekaterina Lakhova (Unified Russia), who said it was designed to increase the share of the women holding elected office. While 53 percent of the population is female, only 10 percent of Duma deputies are female, and in some regional legislatures, such as Novosibirsk's, there are no women at all, Lakhova said. But Deputy Aleksandr Moskolets, also from Unified Russia, said that Lakhova's proposal is unconstitutional and that the constitution "mentions only citizens, making no difference in gender." Liberal Democratic Party of Russia leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii, whose faction also voted against the amendment, said that a quota for women will mean also a 20 percent quota for young people, 20 percent for non-Slavs, and so on. VY

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