ARGENTINA CONTROVERSIAL LATE-NIGHT VOTE

Gender parity in Congress becomes law

A bill requiring political parties to run as many women candidates as men passed into law last night with the majority of lawmakers supporting the bill.

Political parties are now required to run women as at least half of their total candidates.
Political parties are now required to run women as at least half of their total candidates. Foto:Télam

Political parties running for seats in Congress will be required to run as many women candidates as men, after Argentina’s Lower House yesterday passed legislation to raise the gender parity ratio from 33 to 50 percent.

The reform had been passed last October in the Senate but  stalled after its approval in a Constitutional Affairs committee. With 165 votes in favour and 4 against, the changes will come into effect by the 2019 general elections.

Yesterday’s surprise vote was supported by a vast majority of lawmakers from across the political spectrum.

However, others expressed their disapproval about the way in which the reform had been brought to a vote.

“We’re in favour of parity,” said Radical lawmaker Karina Banfi, “but we should not review it outside our work schedule”.

She took aim at left-leaning lawmaker Victoria Donda who forced the last minute hearing.

“We want the debate which we’re entitled to. We cannot allow them to come in here and manage us in such a capricious way at two in the morning,” she charged.