On December 12, 2022 PSD President Marcel Ciolacu gave a speech celebrating the passage of a Parliamentary declaration supporting gender quotas in the Romanian Parliament.
The full text of Ciolacu’s speech is below.
Madam Vice President of the Senate,
Mr. Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen, senators, and deputies,
Madam Minister and Ministers,
Dear members of the Diplomatic Corps,
I am pleased to participate today in the of writing a new chapter of history for women in Romania!
I welcome today’s adoption of this STATEMENT of the PARLIAMENT
regarding the consolidation of equal opportunities in Romania.
It is a sign of institutional progress and the emotional health of a society still too entrenched in patriarchal attitudes.
Today, I look into the eyes of the 29 women deputies and 8 women senators who are elected members of the Social Democratic Party. I tell them that I follow their careers, celebrate them, and that I am proud to have them representing our party! To the same extent that I am proud of the 78 women serving as PSD mayors and the 2587 women serving as PSD local councilors!
As representatives, they do credit to us, the Social Democratic Party. PSD today is a model for others, and at the forefront of equal opportunities in Romanian politics.
And I tell you frankly, these ladies were not positively discriminated against, as some say. They ran in challenging elections, in most cases alongside male opponents. They were elected by the Romanians for their tremendous work, for the power they showed, for the results they achieved- n short, on account of the things accomplished in communities they represent!
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen,
I come before you, and tell you that, today, we make ourselves a modern society, by fighting the prejudices that have held us captive for so many generations! I say with my hand on my heart that the introduction of gender quotas in an organization, political or of any kind, or in a company, is not an endorsement of positive discrimination.
For any position in a corporation, for any office in an institution, and for any dignity in the state we can find women equally capable and efficient as the men who occupy those positions. It’s all about prioritizing the advancement of these capable women and giving them the opportunity to express themselves! PSD has done this, and we benefited from it.
To succeed as a society, I believe that policies for equal opportunities must target much deeper and more subtle aspects, including aspects that exist in our society and cause those forms of discrimination that often manifest themselves reflexively, unconsciously, and instinctively.
I therefore plead for a much broader approach when we want to combat gender discrimination. From my standpoint, education plays a central role in overcoming any form of discrimination. Education is essential in the construction of a fairer society, where each person is treated according to his own qualities, studies, achievements, and not based on the gender.
I conclude by professing that I personally have great respect for my female colleagues in the party and across the Romanian Parliament: they are many times more tenacious and better organized than men!