• September 23, 2015


The Celtic League has asked the Isle of Man Chief Minister if consideration was given to addressing political gender imbalance when recent changes to the electoral system were introduced (see below):

“The Chief Minister
Allan Bell MHK
Chief Minister Office
Government Buildings
Isle of Man

23rd September 2015

Dear Chief Minister,

Last week following the decision of Mrs Cannell MHK to stand down from politics the Speaker of the House of Keys was quoted publicly describing the current gender imbalance in Tynwald as ‘regrettable’.

Bearing in mind that:

a) Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) requires that states take “all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms 38 on a basis of equality with men”.

b) Article 4 of CEDAW makes clear that special measures taken by states to ensure the de facto equality of women “shall not be considered discrimination…but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards”.

c) The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE), in Recommendation 2003(3), also calls upon member states to “support, by all appropriate measures, programmes aimed at stimulating a gender balance in political life and public decision making initiated by women’s organisations and all organisations working for gender equality”.

d) The principle of equal participation of women and men in political life was reaffirmed by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in its Declaration “Making Gender Equality a Reality” (CM(2009)68), in which members states are urged to “enable positive action or special measures to be adopted in order to achieve balanced participation, including representation, of women and men in decision-making in all sectors of society, in particular in the labour market and in economic life as well as in political and public decision-making”.

e) In Recommendation 1899(2010), entitled “Increasing women’s representation in politics through the electoral system”, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe encourages the member states to increase women’s representation by introducing quotas.

Given the Isle of Man has currently given consideration to the reform of electoral processes including registration of political parties was any consideration given to the CEDAW and CoE observations on addressing gender imbalance in political life?

Yours sincerely,

Director of Information
Celtic League”


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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