PETALING JAYA: Not content with mere rhetoric, advocacy group Empower wants political parties to “put their money where their mouth is” by providing a list indicating the increase in the number of women candidates they are putting up for the next general election.
This is a part of the group’s larger demand of wanting political parties to show a measurable quantum in terms of women’s participation in politics.
“We are always talking about women’s participation in politics but this is the election where they can prove it.
“We know that political parties from both sides of the divide have an addition in women candidates and have been advocating for an increase in women’s participation in politics but we want to see the numbers,” Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah told fz.com.
She added that political parties must go beyond rhetoric and make a commitment to “walk the talk”.
“Don’t just announce that there is going to be more women’s participation. We want concrete numbers. What is the increment (from the last election) and what, for example, will be the percentage of women candidates in this election?” she added.
At a press conference yesterday, Empower programme officer Lau Shu Shi announced that they would monitor women’s participation in and the emphasis on women’s issues in the next polls.
Part of their mapping project will include observing individual candidates and their support for women issues after the election, said Lau, who will be among those spearheading the project.
They are also asking for political parties to provide a 30% quota for women candidates in party positions to ensure equality.
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 21, 2013.