Pakatan Harapan Reminded To Uphold Their Promise For 30% Female Policy Makers

The government had pledged to do so in their manifesto.

Cover image via Media Selangor/Women's Aid Organisation (edited)

In its manifesto, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had promised to create more female leaders in Malaysia

Image via Media Selangor

This was one of the pledges listed under the "Special Commitment For Women" section in the coalition's manifesto.

Under Commitment 5 of the section, PH vowed to ensure that women will make up at least 30% of the country's policy makers.

However, renowned feminist activist and writer Jac sm Kee took to Twitter to state that women are still underrepresented in state executive committees following PH's win

The activist wrote that although women made up 49% of voters in the 14th General Election (GE14), their representation in leadership positions remains at 10% in most states. 

The composition of state executive committees were also broken down in a series of tweets to portray the existing gender gap in the country's leadership positions.

Out of the seven states analysed, only the Selangor executive committee has a 20% women representation, closest to the promised 30%. Melaka, Sabah, Johor, and Kelantan executive committees have a mere 10% women representation. 

Penang stands at 12.5%, while Terengganu's executive committee has an all-men lineup. 

According to All Women's Action Society (AWAM), registered female voters for GE14 also outnumbered men in all but two states and one federal territory

"This is a testimony that women voters desire change that will address women's rights issues and concerns," the independent feminist organisation wrote in a tweet yesterday, 17 May.

"Time for the cabinet to have at least 30% women," the group added.

The tweet was also directed at leaders in the PH coalition: Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Home Minister-designate Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Finance Minister-designate Lim Guan Eng.

Other women's rights groups expressed similar concerns as well, urging the new government to fulfil their promise of women representation in decision-making posts

In a series of tweets, Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) and Sisters in Islam (SIS) also pushed PH to keep their promise of ensuring women make up at least 30% of policy-making positions.

On top of that, women's rights advocates and activists drafted an open letter to Mahathir to suggest names of female parliamentarians for the appointment of ministers

"The new cabinet will be largely made up of people, including men, who have little or no experience in the federal government," the letter wrote, before indicating that it would be a great opportunity to include more women in the country's policy-making.

11 names of current female Members of Parliament were suggested in the letter, with their achievements highlighted for Mahathir's consideration.

"This should be a core aspect of Malaysia's commitment to gender equality, to reflect this equality in the cabinet," the letter went on, before urging Mahathir to "choose well".

You can read the open letter in full here:

You can also show your support for the cause by signing your name here.

Yesterday, 17 May, Wan Azizah was appointed as Malaysia's new Minister of Women's Affairs and Welfare:

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