ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Silence of the voices of female BN leaders

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:09 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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From Female Voter, via e-mail
I read with great interest the developments of the MIC AGM which took place recently in Putrajaya. It was rife with political rhetoric  which was dutifully picked up by most of the mainstream media. I noted that the chest-thumping antics of the power hungry men got the most attention, not unlike the display of power prevalent in the animal kingdom. Sadly, I was dismayed by the stereotypical depiction of the women leaders of MIC who modeled the latest 1Malaysia saree which took four weeks to make as reported in the Star (Aug 1, 2011).
There were only two women in the photograph depicting the leaders in the agenda-setting Central Working Committee. The sole woman quoted was Wanita chief Komala Krishna Moorthy who elaborated on the specifics of the 1Malaysia saree. She was not quoted talking about the agenda for MIC or her thoughts on MIC’s strategies for the next general election. The president alone made these comments and observations which the mainstream media captured faithfully for its earnest readers.

What is wrong with this picture? Time and again, I observe the sidelining of women leaders in BN political parties. Public spaces available for BN women leaders to voice their  is severely limited unless a token representation is required. The existence of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is a testament to this tokenism.
I would like to challenge the leadership of BN to allow women leaders to come forth and set the agenda for their respective parties.
Convince female voters you have their best interest at heart, instead of instructing the female Minister of Tokenism to make empty promises about increasing women’s representation in decision making positions by at least 30% every time elections are around.
Women’s representation in politics should be made a priority and made an important agenda of the state. Since the ratification of The Convention of Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1995, we have made little progress in terms of the empowerment of women. The existence of the women’s wing in political party denies women a level playing field with the men.
They do not make up critical mass in the Central Working Committee which sets the agenda for policies. This is especially true of most political parties, despite fielding more female candidates in recent by-elections, real changes are still wanting. The structures of political parties need to be revamped to reflect meaningful representation of women within these organisations.
Women voters should grasp the power that they wield via the electoral process and use it as an effective bargaining tool. There is no time like the present to make it known that we have been waiting too long in the wings and we have a right to be leaders in our own right.





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