PH Women wants 30 pct women representation in leadership

Chang fields questions from reporters. Beside her is Voon.

KUCHING: The newly formed Pakatan Harapan (PH) Women wing is urging the state government to help materialise a 30 per cent representation of women in leadership and decision-making positions.

Speaking on the sidelines of the DUN sitting yesterday, Irene Chang (DAP-Bukit Assek) said this was one of the main goals of PH Women – to bring about the movement of gender equality that would help create a higher quality society.

“We have all heard of the saying:  Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her food, she will give you a meal. If you give her a house, she will give you a home.

“We believe that if more women are involved in nation-building, this nation should prosper. So we want more women, especially educated women to become leaders with the right mindset to make the right decisions at the right time,” she said.

Jumping into the discussion, vice-president of PKR Women, Voon Shiak Ni pointed out that representation of women at state-level was a concerning matter, especially in higher level decision-making positions in government or government-linked corporations.

“When we talk about woman representation in Sarawak, it is still very low. We only have one female minister in the cabinet, the people’s representative is only 10 to 11 per cent, and when we look across the local councils and government agencies, it is very hard to find 20 per cent women.

“Because of these low numbers, I think this is an area where our state government really needs to  improve on if they are sincere in their efforts to increase women’s participation,” she said.

Confident that the endeavour will not be in vain, Voon said  Selangor had since made strong inroads in gender equality as it now holds a 27 per cent representation of women in its state assembly while also being first state to appoint a female speaker.

Adding to the argument for women in government, Chang explained that women held certain advantages in some aspects of governance as they had more empathy and foresight in dealing with women and children’s issues, domestic abuse, and/or sexual assault.

Chang believed that with women having to undertake the roles of mothers in our society,  women would have a stronger sense of responsibility in ensuring the stability and prosperity of our nation and future generations.

“So if empowered, the hands that rock the cradle can surely compliment, contribute and help create a better society for all of us.

“In that respect, PH Women is calling upon the state government to give recognition to the women in our society, not by giving us lip service, but by trusting us with the power to make decisions and take action.”

Due to the size of Sarawak, state PH Women has three leaders: PKR’s Nurhamin Hanna Mokhsen represents the northern region, Chang for the central and Amanah’s Nurzaiti Hamdan the southern region.

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