VT Hosts Debate Quotas for Women in the Duma
Monday, March 7, 2005 11:05 AM

In a special 5 March broadcast in the run-up to International Women's Day on 8 March, ORT considered the question of why there are so few women in Russian political life and what should be done about it. Central Election Commission (TsIK) Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov defended his agency's proposal that the election law be amended to require that at least 30 percent of the candidates on party lists be women. He stated that countries with larger percentages of female legislators, such as in Scandinavia, have "better" social policies. Ekho Moskvy Editor in Chief Aleksei Venediktov argued against quotas, saying it is more important to address the underlying reluctance of voters, including women, to vote for female candidates. An unscientific poll of the studio audience found that 64 percent favor quotas for women, while36 percent oppose them. RCCopyright (c) 2004. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org