Seen But Not Heard

Possibly the worst part of the MUD's baffling, retrograde decision to have not a single woman in an AN leadership position is that it forced us to agree with Tania friggin' Diaz.

¿Y dónde están las mujereeees?! – No, I’m not trying to revive an old line from some sad Venevision TV show. That was me yesterday, fuming at the total absence of newly elected women MPs in the National Assembly leadership or, hell, even in the opening session’s speakers’ roster.

I know we’re still hungover-ish after yesterday’s overdose of snark on the floor. The Ramos vs Carreño. A humiliated Cilia Flores, on the phone, pretending she was not even listening to Américo De Grazia’s rip her a new one for handing diplomatic passports to her drug-trafficking nephews.

And although it looks like yesterday a la MUD no se le escapó una, the swearing-in was tainted with another missed opportunity for the New Majority to seize the spotlight and finally woman up. To show that there is a real alternative that is inclusive and also looks inclusive (and to make it up for this other time).

To our disgrace, this pitfall was first pointed out by none other than PSUV MP, Tania Diaz. That’s right, amid her nonsense diatribe about the Universidad Lisandro Alvarado getting hard currency to afford food (?) she called out the New Majority for not giving women or young MPs even a token spot in the Assembly leadership. That it took a stalinist nutter to make this point is something that should shame us.

Think about it: although the PSUV has fewer women in the AN than the New Majority – and Tania knows it, she was just taking the piss – arguably without the controversial gender parity rule introduced by the CNE at the very last minute, women in parliament would be nearly *zero*. In 2016. A scandal.

The New Majority can’t lose sight of what Venezuelans voted for: a Tamara Adrián, the first trans woman MP in Latin America, a Marialbert Barrios, 25 year old from an underprivileged background that beat a strongman from chavismo, a Manuela Bolívar who campaigned with her baby bump and breastfed in her male-dominated political meetings, and a Gladys Guaipo, the first woman from the opposition to win an indigenous seat.

In Venezuela, women accounted for about 17% of legislators in 2014, whilst in Latin America the average is 27%. If the New Majority wants to enter 21st century politics como Dios manda, it has to end the sausage fest and woman it up already.