Shifting the gender quota debate from underrepresentation of women to overrepresentation of men within diplomacy
While some progress has been made towards gender equality in diplomacy, women remain underrepresented in ambassadorial positions worldwide. Quotas have been effective in boosting nominal representation of women but critiques focused on quotas being tokenistic and harming meritocracy place a double burden on women. However, even the current system is not meritocratic, as men benefit from a historical advantage and assumed competence, while women must justify their presence, prove their worth and disprove gender stereotypes. Therefore, this brief suggests that focusing on overrepresentation of men instead of underrepresentation of women, as suggested by Rainbow Murray (2014), would improve representation for all and create a more fair and merit-based system.