Controversial Welsh Liberal Democrat plans for all-women shortlists were
thrown out on Sunday by grassroots members.
Brecon and Monmouthshire AM Kirsty Williams backed change
The move would have barred men from standing for the party in target seats at Westminster and Assembly elections.
But delegates at the party's autumn conference in Llandrindod Wells
overwhelmingly rejected the idea.
Brecon and Radnorshire AM Kirsty Williams, was a supporter of the idea.
"I've heard that we have this system which allows the best person to get to the top.
"It must be a real co-incidence that the best person is so often a man," she said.
"It's a tough nettle, but it's one this party needs to grasp."
South Wales West AM Peter Black said the party should concentrate instead on providing more training and support for female candidates.
"The problem is that women are not putting themselves forward for election," he said.
"That's what we have to address.
"This should be about positive action and not about positive discrimination."
The delegates also rejected a plan to introduce "zipping" for PR lists placing men and women alternately on the list.