• September 16, 2015


When not sorting out electoral practices, as part of a CPA Election Observation Mission in the sunny British Virgin Isles, Speaker of the House of Keys, Steve Rodan, turns his thoughts to electoral matters closer to home (link):


Following the recent decision of Brenda Cannell to quit politics after many years the number of women represented in Tynwald is minimal to say the least.

Steve Rodan waxed lyrical on Manx Radio earlier today about how its ‘ironic’ that an Island that was ahead of the pack in relation to women’s suffrage granting it in 1881. Whilst this is true and ‘a good sound bite’ in fact, as my late wife Dee wrote in an article in Carn (Summer 1981 Issue 34) on the anniversary of women’s suffrage in 1881, it was a restricted franchise and only about 700 women (property owners) became eligible. The vote was not universally extended to all women in Mann until 1919 and only at that stage were women able to stand for election (link):

(Page 19 Women in Mann)

Steve Rodan says ‘something will have to be done about it’ and there’s no impediment of any sort’.

It’s a difficult one to as Rodan puts it ‘do something about’ however. Even in countries which favour a party political system and where women candidate short lists have been mooted it has not addressed imbalance.

I suppose steps to create the circumstances which ensure gender imbalance in all walks of life is addressed might help. However in that regard the administration of which Rodan is a part shows itself to be singularly incapable. For examples figures we have seen for the gender mix of Chairpersons. Vice Chairpersons and members of statutory committees show a consistent imbalance which discriminates against women. If government is incapable of ensuring that the gender mix on these quangos over which it does have some influence is not balanced then when hope for other areas.

Granted the Appointments Commission now has a majority of female members but pointedly of course the Chair is still male.

Over in the Courts things are not much better you are more likely to find ‘m’luds’ than ‘m’ladies’ lolling about on the bench. Jane Hughes, Deputy High Bailiff, is currently ‘in solitary’ being the sole female member of the senior judiciary.

I’ll wager that the senior echelons of the Civil Service are also predominantly male although things have started to change…slowly.

So Steve Rodan is right ‘something will have to be done’ but don’t expect change soon on the Isle of Misogyny!


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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