KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Former women, family, and community development minister Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today expressed her disappointment at Malaysia’s lack of progress in promoting women’s participation in politics and decision-making.
Commenting on some parties’ proposal to field women candidates in 30 per cent of the seats they would contest in the general election, Shahrizat said it was disheartening to see this was the same goal as when she had entered politics in the 1990s.
“We cannot afford to be having the same conversation and the same goals over 20 years later,” she said on Instagram today.
“Women have been the backbone of Malaysian politics since independence, and it’s past time that when we look around the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara, we see just as many women in those halls of power as there are in society instead of a paltry 14 per cent women MPs.”
Having experienced the barriers that women in politics face, such as having to prove their worth to their male counterparts and navigate the slew of gendered attacks thrown at them, Shahrizat said she was certain the country’s leaders can recognise women’s abilities to steer Malaysia in a better direction.
“It’s time to take women’s participation in politics to the next level,” she said.