John Rawls’ Theory of Justice and 50-50 Campaign towards 2019 tripartite elections

Malawi Parliament

John Rawls, one of the most influential thinkers, came up with a theory of justice particularly concerning distributive type of justice.

According to Rawls, justice has to be understood as fairness; that is giving each what is due to him or her.

On the one hand, the principles of the theory dictates that society should be structured so that greatest possible amount of liberty is given to its members, limited only by the notion that the liberty of one member shall not infringe upon that of any other member.

Women representation in the parliaments has always been a talking point.

On the other hand, 50-50 campaign advocates for equal opportunities between men and women to empower the latter so to say. The campaign basically seeks to improve the power of women in society’s decision making roles.

The two, Rawls’s theory of justice and the 50-50 Campaign, as they are in themselves aren’t opposing but rather supplementary. Problem only emerges when one start thinking that empowering women is equal to weakening men.

On a sad note, Executive Manager of one well known media house in the country recently went public refusing to offer apology over biasing women allegations. No one should be cheated that biasing women is empowering them. In fact, it is false conviction to believe that getting bias gear in reverse is the way to go.

In his words, the one whole Executing Manager further told Malawian citizens to give their votes to a woman on every ballot which will have a female candidate. Of course it is good idea to let women compete with men on a fair ground. However, urging people to vote for women rather than men into power on the virtue of gender is not solving the problem.

Among other reasons, the campaign was introduced so as to stop men’s dominance on the basis of gender. Now, to let women into positions merely because they are women is repeating the same equation.

It is therefore on the ground of this fact that the tendency to reverse the gender bias from men to women has to be strongly condemned. Instead, the society should properly put measures that will avoid redundancy of unwanted biases. Further, people should adequately apply the principles of justice as fairness.

And it must be understood that fairness should never exclude neither women nor men. When it comes to fairness, both sides should be balanced. To think that men do not suffer gender bias is merely ignoring clear and distinct truth.

In a nutshell, it should be well said that 50-50 Campaign adequately takes the Rawls’ “justice as fairness” theory so as to make sure that men and women share positions on virtue of capability and disregard gender differences.

To this far, the only advice that would conclude it well would be to say people should leave 50-50 on a fairness scale-fairness scale that would not detect gender and subject people to different measuring levels. Let the ears hear it!