GIBRALTAR’S echelons of power have been compared to those in Iran due to its lack of female representation.
It comes after the Rock ranked 154th out of 191 countries in a study on women in power by the International Parliamentary Union.
“The study says we are only slightly better than countries like Qatar, Congo and Iran,” said Together Gibraltar leader Marlene Hassan Nahon.
“We look back over the last 50 years and there is only a handful of women that have graced Parliament with their presence.
“As a result there is a void of female role models as we haven’t been there to add our perspective.”
Speaking on International Women’s Day, Nahon also revealed she was once advised to ‘find a man’ to lead her new party.
“For them, the visual is that a man has to lead,” she added during a debate at City Hall. “It’s all about awareness and changing these visuals.”
Rival GSLP MP Samantha Sacramento agreed, saying there was ‘obviously’ a ‘gender imbalance’ on the Rock.
“Overnight, I became minister for equality and I remember quite a hostile reaction when we first started celebrating International Women’s Day,” she said.
“I had to explain that the reason we are raising awareness is not to give a particular advantage to women.
“Instead, we want to show that it is because of these barriers and biased that women are at a disadvantage already.”
Mayor Kaiane Aldorino Lopez, a former Miss World winner, believed however, that gender roles had begun to change.
In one of her last public speeches before she is due to step down from her position, she said:
“Children should understand that women are not made only to handle household chores or take responsibility of home and family.
“Instead, both men and women are responsible of home and family as well as the working world.
“Women should identify their strengths and abilities and move toward a world of empowerment.”