The Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento MP has today written to the Clerk of the Gibraltar Parliament asking that the Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform consider the introduction of a formal regime that provides for maternity leave or any parental leave.
Minister Sacramento has this morning made a statement in Parliament to this effect.
The objective of this proposal is to attract more women to Parliament, given the current and historic underrepresentation of women in the House. There have never been more than two women in Parliament at one time, and there have been times when there have been less.
There are currently no provisions catering for women Parliamentarians who might want to have a child.
The aim of considering formal arrangements for maternity leave, and indeed parental leave, for parliamentarians is to remove the barriers to effective representation and to encourage more women to stand for election.
Minister for Equality Samantha Sacramento MP said “As a Parliamentarian, the only women in Government and one of only two women in Parliament, I would like to see an increase in the number of women in the House so as to make it more representative of our community. This view is shared by the Chief Minister and the Cabinet and I am very pleased that my proposal has been positively received this morning by the whole of the House.
Structural provisions that remove barriers for active Parliamentary participation by new mothers will set an important example to the wider society that it represents that being a parent should not be a barrier to workplace equality.
No women Parliamentarians have had a child while in Parliament but just because this has not happened before does not mean that we should not be ready for when it does happen, we should all welcome the removal of barriers that may prevent women considering standing for election.”