Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: Why it’s time we had a gender quota

Boy model dresses as a woman. Girl models look like boys. Size zero. Online porn. Genital cosmetic surgery for young women. Bulimia. Anorexia. Bullying.

Debates about these topics fill the media. As the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day approaches, I wonder what the hell’s going on? Why are we still talking about our bodies?

One reason may be highlighted by a report this week which wants to see 25% of company board positions filled by women by 2015.

Currently, only 12.5% of FTSE 100 directors are women and 50% of the FTSE 250 have no female directors at all.

A similar, enforced plan in Norway some years ago worked wonders. Studies show mixed boards produce the best results. The argument has been won. We’re behind the times.

It’s time now to force a seismic shift in our society’s approach to gender and power, not sit and wait for it to happen.

Today’s extreme is tomorrow’s normal.

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