Gender quotas, positive discrimination

Note published on October 7 in, News Section by Antonio Fernández Fernández.
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“The problem of women has always been a problem of men”

Simone deBeauvoir

Every day gender issues become more important, causing all kinds of discussions; however, it is a reality that fortunately cannot be stopped, but we must be very careful not to distort the true reasons for its being, since in many cases it can generate a false appearance of fairness.

The gender quota policy is the result of a long struggle to break the hegemony of men, especially in the sectors of politics and public administration, where men held almost all public positions, including the Church, the banking, judges, and in general, all public life.

It was in northern Europe, in the 70s of the 20th century, where the first movements and reforms emerged to include women in public positions, thus initiating an irrepressible change. It was not until 1990 that France approved an electoral reform to obtain parity in the electoral lists; while in Mexico it was achieved until 1996, establishing 30 percent of quotas for women, which was increased in 2008 to 40 percent, and in 2014 they reached parity.

In Mexico, little by little, spaces have been opening up for women, as we have seen governors in the states, ministers of the Supreme Court; in 2012 the first director of the UNAM Law School was appointed, and in 2016 the first president of the CDMX College of Notaries was appointed, and only in 2022 was the first governor of the Bank of Mexico appointed. , and in this year the first woman director of the Institute of Legal Research of the UNAM was also appointed, as we can see, as soon as the institutions are opened to be chaired by women.

In general, gender quotas are positive discrimination. The problem, as Blanya Cristina Correal points out, is that 50/50 quotas cannot always work, nor in all areas, and she comments that the important thing is to create the conditions of equality in competition and opportunities, and not just a fee per se.

The issue is very delicate, because while gender quotas can be applied in the public administration, in private initiative it is different, there the competence and capacity schemes must work, with impartial systems of opportunities, which has been very slow; For example, we have that among the 155 largest companies in the country, only two are run by women.

But schemes such as the one established by the CDMX Notaries Association, which established a preparation course only for women lawyers, cannot work either, because in careers such as that of notaries, impartiality and free competition under equal conditions must prevail, in In this case, what must be ensured is that they are examined on the same terms as men, and that discrimination does not dominate, since in this career, as in many others, the important thing is the ability and knowledge of the subject.