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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 www.womeninpubliclife.gg 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 hello@womeninpubliclife.gg.

Shelaine Green
Chair – Women in Public Life
www.womeninpubliclife.gg