The Equality Act 2010 permits positive action (sections 158 and 159).
“Positive action” means steps that can be taken to address the different needs or past track record of disadvantage or low participation of people who share a particular protected characteristic.
Positive action is not the same as “positive discrimination” or “affirmative action” which the Act does not permit.
Taking positive action is voluntary. By way of example, if the Party reasonably thinks that women suffer a disadvantage because of their sex, or their participation in an activity (for example sitting on Party Committees) is disproportionately low, the Party is permitted to take action with the aim of enabling or encouraging women to overcome or minimise that disadvantage or participate in Party Committees.
This round of elections is not subject to the provisions of Article 2.6 of the Federal Constitution as there are no committees which ten or more individuals are being elected to. Nonetheless, Article 2.5 does apply, and as such the 40% quota for both men and women shall be applied to the election of the FPDC and the FFRC.