Welsh Labour’s leaked memo ignites vehement reactions from political rivals and activists.
A newly exposed plan by Mark Drakeford, allowing biological men who identify as women to qualify for female-only quotas aimed at increasing the number of female politicians, has elicited a wave of indignation. The intent behind this controversial policy, as per a memo leaked to the Guido Fawkes website, is to bolster the representation of women in political roles.
The First Minister’s proposal has been ridiculed by political adversaries, notably Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives. Davies, taking to Twitter on October 30th, lambasted the plan, stating, “A total farce. Labour’s gender quotas are insulting to women, and to the public whose votes should be free from interference by politicians. If anyone can ‘identify’ as whichever gender they choose, the whole thing is unfit for purpose. Scrap it.”
This contentious memo also unveiled a directive that would prohibit election officials from questioning a candidate’s gender. A provision within the draft of a Bill would enable biological men to vie for positions under female-only quotas, with the objective of ensuring that half of the Welsh Parliament’s members are women.
Cathy Larkman, representing Women’s Rights Network Wales, voiced her deep concerns to Guido Fawkes, exclaiming, “It is astonishing the Government is spending public funds and using a Gender Quotas Bill to promote an agenda which undermines the rights of half the population of Wales.” Larkman denounced the plan, highlighting that the legislation, which should be augmenting female participation in politics, is instead fostering a “toxic and misogynistic ideology.”
Heather Binning, founder of Women’s Rights Network, echoed Larkman’s sentiments, underlining the gravity of redefining the term ‘woman’ and the consequences it bears for all UK women. Drawing parallels with Scotland’s gender reform, Binning emphasized that the Welsh Government’s move seems unheeding of the lessons from the past, labelling their actions as “devious and disingenuous.”
The Welsh Government, in response to the backlash, conveyed their commitment to creating a more inclusive parliament. “Our proposed model for quotas is designed to maximise the chances of achieving a Senedd comprised of at least 50 percent women. Work is ongoing on the Bill,” stated a government spokesperson. Story Source