Atalanta in Thomson Reuters Foundation News: "To achieve political equality, we should focus less on fairness"

In an op-ed for Thomson Reuters Foundation News on International Women's Day, Atalanta Founder & CEO Eva Barboni argues that in order to achieve gender parity in politics, we need to focus less on fairness and more on why women can win: 

The argument in favour of women’s equal representation in politics often focuses on fairness: we are half of the population, and it is only fair that our share of political power should reflect that. This argument may be hard to counter, but unfortunately it is not very effective in driving change. To understand why, you need to follow the money.

Political parties have limited resources, and every penny is spent with one goal in mind: winning elections. No matter how much a party’s leaders may agree with the fairness argument, they simply aren’t going to make spending decisions based on it. The same applies to political donors, the majority of whom are male and typically don’t support female candidates until their victories are almost certain.

So, if we want to start mobilising the funding needed to make real progress on gender equality, we need to start focusing less on why it is the right thing to do and more on how it can help win elections.

Read more on Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

Eva Barboni