Instead of high watermark for women’s rights, Najib’s hijacking of women portfolio proves to be an even lower point for women agenda

The launching of Pakatan Rakyat’s Women’s Agenda tonight is a historic event, as gender equality and empowerment of women to improve their social, educational, economic and political status must be accepted by everyone as part of human rights which must involve the commitment and challenge to everyone in the country.

Recently, women’s rights should have witnessed a highwater mark in Malaysia when the Women’s Minister is also the Prime Minister, but unfortunately, the opposite is the case – with women agenda reaching an even lower point with the hijacking of the Women Minister’s portfolio by a male – as if there are no eligible and qualified Malaysian woman for the post!

“Janji Ditepati” has recently been Najib’s favourite subject, but with Najib as Women’s Minister for the past six months, are women in Malaysia satisfied with “Promises Fulfilled” with regard to women issues and causes?

Do women in Malaysia feel safer from crime, whether in shopping malls, car parks, public streets or even in the privacy of their homes? The answer is a resounding “NO”, even with parents fearful about the safety of their underaged daughters following the recent spate of cases where judges made a mockery of statutory rape legislation to protect underaged girls.

The Malaysian government is fond of boasting about the achievements and status of Malaysian women in the international arena, particularly with regard to gender equality and women empowerment.

In actual fact, Malaysia is not in any leading position in the international context with regard to gender equality and women empowerment, as reflected by the lowly ranking of Malaysia in the 2011 Global Gender Gap Index report prepared by the World Economic Forum in Geneva.

Malaysia’s overall Global Gender Gap Index (GGPI) ranking, which is made up of three criteria firstly economic participation and opportunity; secondly, health and survival; thirdly, political empowerment, is a lowly No.97 out of 135 countries, worse than Philippines (8), South Africa (14), Cuba (20), Mozambique (26), Argentina (28), Sri Lanka (31), Nambibia (32), Guyana (38), Kyrgyz Republic (44), Kazakhstan (49), Thailand (60), Botswana (66), Bangladesh (69), Brunei (76), Albania (78), Armenia (84) and Indonesia (90).

Malaysia’s ranking in terms of women’s representation in government is the worst of all three criteria, ranked 115, behind Sri Lanka (7), Bangladesh (11), Philippines (16), India (19), China (57), Indonesia (61), Vietnam (76), Cambodia (78), Singapore (83) and Thailand (97).

Neighbouring and other Asian countries have had women as heads of state of government, like Indira Gandhi of India, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Corazaon Aquino of Philippines, Megawarti Sukarnoputri of Indonesia, Yingluck Shinawatra of Thailand, Sheikh Hasina of Banglasdesh and Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. But no women have risen to the top in Malaysia, whether at the federal or state levels, as no woman have ever been Mentri Besar or Chief Minister.

This gender gap must be rectified.

Malaysia should aim to be included in the top 50 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index and one way for the attainment of this objective is the implementation of Pakatan Rakyat’s Women Agenda if and when Pakatan Rakyat takes power in Putrajaya in the 13th General Election.

(Speech at the launch of the Pakatan Rakyat Women’s Agenda “Wanita Berdaya Negara Sejahtera” in Shah Alam on Thursday, 13th September 2012 at 9 pm)

  1. #1 by monsterball on Friday, 14 September 2012 - 5:52 pm

    When Shahrizat was the Minister for Family Planning & Women Rights..she said she did know know what her son or husband are doing about the Cows.
    Instead of appointing another woman for that Ministry…Najib score another first..the first PM to hold that Ministry….which should be another woman….and the rest….you can read the post and conclude…”What’s Up Najib???”

  2. #2 by monsterball on Friday, 14 September 2012 - 7:10 pm

    And now.. our Home Minister ….Hisham said no protection for Anwar in Johore….bla bla bla…when tour bus was splashed with red paints for the third time.
    He said Johoreans know what they are doing…supporting hooligans.
    That idiot is not a Home Minster to protect Malaysians from harms way.
    He is a low low class umno B Home Minster… protecting his party.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 14 September 2012 - 7:19 pm

    Sorri, najib, to hijack this thread on women to talk about APs again.

    Never knew that besides APs for cars, there also APs for palm oil.

    Tun M may want to know (if he does not already know) why must APs for palm oil be under the Official Secrets Act. What df*cks?

    Yes, whatdf*cks?

  4. #4 by megaman on Saturday, 15 September 2012 - 1:53 am

    It doesn’t matter whether we have more women or men in key leadership positions.

    BUT it matters a lot whether we have the best people, man or woman in these positions.

    When we think along this line of getting the right people for the right jobs, it really doesn’t matter whether the person is of what race or gender or background.

    The worst we can do is to create new quotas or rules to ensure that more women in jobs / positions that have little or less female participation.

    That would be an insult and also a form of discrimination.

    The only form of discrimination allowed is discrimination by capability, knowledge and results.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 15 September 2012 - 3:08 pm

    AhCHEATkor very happy 2 receive another minister’s salary n perks – WOW, so syiok 1, 1 guy, doing nothing much, pocketing salaries n perks of a few ministers

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