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Minister Nancy Shukri rings alarm on underrepresentation of women in Parliament, Teresa Kok says law and election system must change

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Malaysia has less than 30 per cent of women lawmakers in Parliament, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said today, calling it alarming.

Calling for a change, the women, family and community development minister said action must be taken to address the low representation of women politicians, lawmakers, and other top-decision making areas in both public and private sectors, such as corporations and universities.

“In the realm of politics, it is concerning to note that the presence of women in the Dewan Rakyat falls short of the 30 per cent mark in each general election.

“This needs to change,” she said in her speech at the Women's Rights Conference 2024 here organised by the Malaysian Bar.

The 62-year-old politician from Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Sarawak added that all political parties need to agree to allow 30 per cent of women to contest to ensure women are adequately represented in Parliament.

“We need leaders to really understand this,” the Santubong MP said.

Nancy said she and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok have been pushing for more women representation in Parliament, but added that little has changed.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (left) speaks during the 2024 Woman's Right Conference at Asian International Arbitration Centre in Kuala Lumpur February 24, 2024. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (left) speaks during the 2024 Woman's Right Conference at Asian International Arbitration Centre in Kuala Lumpur February 24, 2024. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok (left) speaks during the 2024 Woman's Right Conference at Asian International Arbitration Centre in Kuala Lumpur February 24, 2024. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Kok said it is impossible to increase the number of women MPs without first changing the law and the election system.

“Under the current system, it’s not possible,” the 59-year-old politician from DAP added during a panel discussion in the second half of the conference.

Nancy called on women nationwide to show their support for women’s rights advocacy by wearing purple on March 8, which also marks International Women’s Day.