Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pakatan Harapan Fail Women Again

Again, the Pakatan Harapan government fail to live up to their GE14 promise regarding women.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said on Wednesday, they would like to see 30 percent of policymakers in Malaysia are women. 

This time, JAG were referring to the minimal representation of women in committees and councils set up by the federal government. Of the 11 policy advisory committees and/or councils, only three have at least 30  percent representation, and two have no women at all! 

But PH's electoral assurances seem to have gone into hiding. 

JAG maintain there are enough women who are both qualified and willing to take up policy-making positions, highlighting the fact that women make up over 50 percent of Malaysia’s population.

Screengrab of table by JAG. Image credit: Malay Mail Online, October 31, 2018

“Ensuring that women make up at least 30 percent of the committees and councils will help ensure that top talent is not overlooked and that more inclusive policy recommendations are made. We should be aiming for equal (50 percent) and diverse representation”, JAG added. 

Out of the 11 councils or committees listed by JAG, four are under the prime minister, both the finance minister and education minister oversee two each, while one each comes under the human resources minister, the foreign minister and the agriculture and agro-based industry minister. 

The low representation of women unavoidably raises questions if the best candidates were ever considered and selected for these important positions. 

It’s time we give women a much bigger say in this country! 

At the cabinet level, there are only nine women ministers and deputy ministers. 

The five women ministers are Deputy Prime Minister (and also Minister of Women and Family Development) Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin, Minister of Rural Development Rina Harun, Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin and Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok. 

And the four deputy ministers are Hannah Yeoh (Women, Family and Community Development), Teo Nie Ching (Education), Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change) and Fuziah Salleh (Prime Minister’s Department/Islamic Affairs). 

Won't these women please lobby their male cabinet colleagues to meet the minimum threshold for women representation? Or are they already contented with their own advancements they've made?

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