SEA governments need to include, nominate more women candidates in elections

JUNE MOH

KUALA LUMPUR: There is a pressing need to engage governments in the Southeast Asian region to include and nominate more women as candidates during elections, said Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

Pandikar Amin said women parliamentarians in Asia make up 2,086 people, or 19.4 per cent of all elected representatives in Parliament within the region.

“There is a need to create more awareness among women, female students and women organisations regarding the work of a member of parliament and persuade the educated ones to join politics,” he said in his keynote speech at the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Southeast Asia Regional Seminar, today.

Pandikar Amin said he had written letters to presidents of political parties in the country to advise them to nominate more women as election candidates.

“If we want the quality of our Parliament to be on par with the level of parliaments around the world, the core components are the parliamentarians themselves.

“If political parties do not nominate more women representatives, the government’s aspiration of having a 30 per cent women workforce will not be achieved,” he said.

He suggested having a CWP Fundamentals Programme for new women parliamentarians in this region.

“Such a programme would be highly beneficial and contribute greatly to our commitment towards achieving the highest standards of democratic governance.

“Women have been a harmonising factor in and outside of Parliament. Women parliamentarians have been the mainstay of stability,” he said.

Present were CWP chairperson Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association secretary-general Akhbar Khan and Singapore Parliament deputy speaker Lim Biow Chuan.