Spain confirms 40 pc quota for female candidates
Spain's Constitutional Court has confirmed a 2007 law obliging political parties to have at least 40 pc female candidates on their electoral lists.30 January 2008
MADRID - Spain's Constitutional Court has confirmed a 2007 law obliging political parties to have at least 40 percent female candidates on their electoral lists, press reports said Wednesday.
The court rejected an appeal by the opposition conservative People's Party (PP) against the law ahead of the 9 March parliamentary elections.
The law limited the freedom of parties in choosing their candidates, the PP argued, asking why parties were also not forced to field candidates from other groups such as the elderly, young or handicapped.
The Constitutional Court, however, rejected the argument that the law was unconstitutional, saying it did not discriminate against men, because parties must also have at least 40 percent of male candidates.
Approved in March 2007, the law raised the number of female municipal councillors from about 6,500 to nearly 8,500 in the local elections in May.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government has set the equality of the sexes as one of the main targets of its social policy.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Spanish news