Women’s involvement in politics still low, give them more space – Mas Ermieyati

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Women’s involvement in the country’s political arena is still low including being the people’s elected representatives in Parliament, says Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law), Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

The Member of Parliament for Masjid Tanah said that until now, the target of having 30 per cent female elected representatives in the Dewan Rakyat had not been achieved.

“Towards meeting this target, women should be given more space in politics including fielding them as candidates in the General Election.

“If we want to field female candidates, place them in seats that are winnable for them so as not to waste talents. Women members of Parliament have the edge as they are more caring and loving while the people’s issues are close to their hearts.

“Certainly, we’ve always stridently called for at least 30 per cent women’s participation in the Dewan Rakyat but we are still far from the target.”

Mas Ermieyati said this as a panellist at the ‘Bual Bicara Bersama YB’ programme held in conjunction with the inaugural Malaysian Parliamentary-Level Women’s Day 2022 celebration, themed ‘Saksama Bersama’ and held at the Banquet Room, Parliament Building, here, today.

Officiated by Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun, the forum was also participated by Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman, Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi as the moderator, and two panellists, the MP for Batu Kawan P. Kasthuriraani and secretary-general of the National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia, Dr Sabariah Baharun.

Kasthuriraani said stereotyping and character assassination against women should stop while there must be efforts to create awareness of women’s issues so as to be brought to the fore for redress.

She said many women elected representatives, not just in Malaysia but throughout the world were facing the big challenge of being victims of character assassination.

“The government should view this issue seriously as many women elected representatives and activists have become victims of character assassination as well as given rape and death threats and more,” she added.

Meanwhile, Sabariah said all parties must play a role in inculcating values including appreciating and recognising women’s immense contribution to the nation and its people and this could start from the home.

Ras Adiba, who is also the OKU Sentral chairperson, said women should be supporting each other so as to change public perception about women and to give more women the opportunity to be parliamentarians.

“What is important now is to have more programmes, particularly to help women improve their skills in facing difficult situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

The forum, organised by the Malaysian Parliament in recognition of women’s contributions and services to the nation and in upholding the government’s policies, will be made an annual event to discuss topics related to women.

Currently, there are 33 women Members of Parliament in Malaysia or 14.86 per cent out of the total of 222.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency