News | We need more female representation in politics and govt, says minister

PETALING JAYA: The government needs to mandate more female representation in politics, according to plantation industries and commodities minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

In a statement in conjunction with International Women’s day, which falls on March 8, she said the government should mandate more women to take part in politics in order to fall in line with the universal standard of 30% female representation in government.

“If the government can mandate at least one female director on the boards of public-listed companies in Malaysia starting in stages from this year, surely a similar exercise can be expanded into the political realm,” she said.

Zuraida said Malaysia needed to catch up to reach the 30% target, although “baby steps” had been made, as seen for the upcoming Johor elections.

“In the Johor elections, 37 female candidates have been fielded, up from 28 in the previous polls. However, these 37 only account for 15.5% of those vying for seats in the Johor legislature,” she said.

She also said women occupied only about 15% of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, and only 15.6% of ministers in the Cabinet were women.

“I have made it a point to enhance female empowerment. Under my ministry, women make up 34% of the board members of the agencies under its purview,” she said.

She pledged to continue to engage with the government on ways to enhance female participation in politics, including looking into quotas for women, such as for candidates in general elections.

Malaysia is just eight years away from 2030, the deadline to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which includes providing equal opportunities to women and men in the political, economic and other fields. – FMT

credit photo: TheStar

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