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Letter to the Editor of Guernsey Press

Letter to the Editor from Women in Public Life

Published in the Guernsey Press on 25th July 2020


Dear Editor

I write in response to Geoff Dorey’s letter of 23rd July in which he asks “Will the local organisation Women in Public Life be in breach of the new anti-discrimination law?”. The answer is no. Nor will Men’s Shed, Male Uprising Guernsey, the Women’s Business Network or the Women’s Institute.

Mr Dorey highlights a common misconception and I welcome the chance to explain.

In the case of Women in Public Life, our work to inspire and support the women of Guernsey to stand for public office is an example of ‘Positive Action’ which will be expressly permitted in the new legislation. The technical definition of Positive Action is “an action adopted with a view to full equality in practice”.  In other words, achieving equality doesn’t necessarily mean treating everyone the same. Sometimes you have to treat an underrepresented group differently to help them overcome the barriers to being equal.

The information at is open to anyone who is curious about becoming a panel member for a tribunal, a douzenier, a non-States member of a committee, a deputy or a jurat.  We’re a team of local volunteers – women and men – who are keen to see balanced representation in public office and are always happy to answer questions. Just email

Shelaine Green
Chair – Women in Public Life

Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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