Code reform would guarantee election of wome

According to a proposal reported out of a legislative committee Tuesday, a women would have to head the election ballots for every political party in at least three of the country’s provinces. The initiative, known as horizontal parity, would apply to legislative deputies, mayors, council members and others seeking elective offices.

The initial proposal was made by Pilar Porras, a lawmaker and head of the Comisión de Mujeres.

It comes as a response to an investigation made last year that found the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones was not enforcing gender parity guidelines through the election code, lawmakers said.

“The only way to correct this is through a bill to amend the code so that it could not prevent, impede, or deny access of women to public office,” Ms. Porras said, according to a release. “The bill stipulates that political parties should design policies that allow equality in the political participation of men and women.”

The law is No. 19.010. It will be placed on the agenda of the full legislature for possible action.

Costa Rica already has a law that specifies that a certain percentage of women must be on each party’s roster for election. For major parties being in the first position in the province is nearly a guarantee of election.

The legislative seats are assigned proportionally to the percentage of the public vote received.

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