Belfast Telegraph

Home Opinion Letters

Gender quotas patently unfair

'MALE candidate awarded job instead of better-qualified female candidate': if this headline appeared in your newspaper, it would justifiably stir up a torrent of criticism, letters and comments denigrating the relevant institution and signalling disapproval at the blatant sexism and unfairness of the appointment.

But it would be the lack of logic that would ultimately indict the awarding body: if one candidate is stronger than the other, then surely the job should be awarded to the former.

The principle that emerges from this example is that the sex of the strongest candidate should be irrelevant. Most people would agree that this is correct.

'Female candidate awarded job instead of better-qualified male candidate': now take this hypothetical headline. If we accept the above logic – that the strongest candidate should prevail and the sex of the strongest candidate should be irrelevant – then we should find this headline equally repugnant.

Could gender quotas result in a stronger candidate losing out to a weaker candidate on the basis of gender? Would this be right?

We should leave sex out of it.

ROBERT SADLIER

By e-mail

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph