To reduce sexual harassment and worse among elected officials will require more than changes in the workplace or how we respond to sexual misbehavior. It will take political reform.

California’s current political system produces overwhelmingly male rosters of political officials. And it contains no real process for vetting out men who prey on colleagues and coworkers. People decide for themselves whether to run for office. Those who win are those who are best at fundraising and campaigning. Their character is never really examined by the media, which doesn’t cover local or state legislative races, or is known by voters.

That’s the system we have. And the results are unlikely to change – unless we change the system.

How? The fundamental goal of the #MeToo movement is equality among the sexes. So the goal of political reform should be equality of representation—half of our boards of supervisors, half of our school boards, half of our city councils, half of our legislatures should be women. There is a way to do that—it’s by using party lists.

Instead of voting for one candidate among several candidates you don’t know in elections, parties would put up lists of candidates to fill districts that would be represented by multiple officials. That’s how democracy – with party lists and proportional representation – works in much of the world.

When parties put up lists, they can be required – or at least very strongly encouraged – to put up lists that are half women and half men. That in turn should lead to elected bodies being half women and half men. And having more women in power should help curb the problem of sexual harassment and assault among elected officials.

Here is another virtue of party lists—they are compiled by party officials and other political insiders. These are the people who are in position to know which prospective candidates have records of sexual misbehavior. If these insiders control the lists, they can screen out candidates who misbehave.

And if they fail to screen out such candidates, those insiders and officials can be held accountable – because they selected the candidates on the list. That’s an accountability that doesn’t exist in a current system, where anyone who wants to be on the ballot can be, provided they qualify and can secure financial resources.

As readers of this space know, there are many other reasons to use party lists and proportional representation – including the fact that it’s more democratic method than the English-American system California and other U.S. states now use for local and state elections. But given the events of the last several months, the value of this political reform also goes to the question of how to make politics more representative, and safer for women working in it.