Comwel develop women leaders by enhancing their knowledge and leadership skills; Zuraida.

KUALA LUMPUR – The newly formed Council of Malaysian Women Political Leaders (Comwel) will enhance the capabilities of the women’s rights movement, with an eye to exponential growth.

It will not only help women progress as community leaders, but also as an asset to the nation’s development.

Describing Comwel as having potential to be a prominent non-partisan political association, founder and president Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said it will initiate various programmes to enable women to participate in politics.

“On this note, Comwel would like to reaffirm our stand that we will advocate for 30% seats allocated to women representatives, regardless of whether they are parliamentary or state seats, or positions in local government, or any other leadership or decision-making role.

“Perhaps, forming a women’s commission would also be appropriate,” said the housing and local government minister in her speech at Comwel’s launch in conjunction with International Women’s Day today.

Present were guest of honour Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and his deputies, Datuk Rashid Hasnon and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

Comwel comprises 13 women MPs and 31 women reps, with Azalina taking the post of deputy president.

Zuraida said one of the platform’s proposed initiatives is to start the “Dare to Lead Academy”, which will nurture talent from across the country and develop women leaders by enhancing their knowledge and leadership skills.

“Comwel will also actively gather data and information by way of conducting surveys and interviews, and organising frequent meetings with women from all levels of society.

“This is to get a better understanding of their interests, problems and challenges in their daily lives, so that we will be able to find a solution and improve the overall quality of Malaysian women.”

Zuraida also launched her first book, titled “Wanita Berdaya, Harapan Negara”, on her views, comments and ideas with regard to how women can move forward and empower others, and at the same time, preserve Asian cultures and values.

“Since Merdeka, there have been only 84 women elected representatives in Parliament.

“Post-14th general election, we have only had 33 women representatives, representing 14.86% of total MPs.

“The lack of women’s representation in Parliament is also seen in neighbouring countries, such as Indonesia, which has 20.3% women in Parliament, Thailand (5%), the Philippines (28%), Cambodia (20%) and Myanmar (11.3%).”

She said partisan political ideologies have resulted in women’s opinions and demands not being heard by the majority.

“We should strive to strengthen the alliance of women’s leadership.

“We are pushing for more women to enter the political arena, but before that day comes, the women leaders now must understand the need for us to stick together for the common good.” – The Vibes

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