Constitutional gender-bending

So I’ve been going through the proposed 18th Amendment and have been learning lots of things about the Constitution that I did not know before.

One thing I have learned is that the Constitution assumes that everyone in the universe is male. See for example Article 62, which describes the necessary qualifications for members of parliaments — each clause in it starts with “he is this…” and “he is that…”.

This creates a bizarre situation when referring to candidates for seats reserved for women. Article 62 (b)(ii) reads in full:

he is, in the case of the National Assembly, not less than twenty-five years of age and is enrolled as a voter in any electoral roll in any area in a Province from which he seeks membership for election to a seat reserved for women

The 18th Amendment tries to rectify this somewhat, but isn’t too successful at it:

he is, in the case of the National Assembly, not less than twenty-five years of age and is enrolled as a voter in any electoral roll in any area in a Province from which she seeks membership for election to a seat reserved for women

To be fair, all the way at the end of the Constitution, in Article 263, you will find this qualifier:

In the Constitution, words importing the masculine gender shall be taken to include females

Ok, sure.

Advertisements

One thought on “Constitutional gender-bending

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s