Bikini photo smear campaign against DAP's Dyana Sofya condemned

PETALING JAYA: The attempt to smear the image of  DAP's Teluk Intan by-election candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud (pic) by uploading pictures of a bikini-clad Filipino actress has drawn fire from women's rights groups.

"It is unacceptable. I think it clearly demonstrates what women have to go through in the political arena, where opponents resort to these cheap dirty tricks instead of fighting ideas with ideas. This is clearly sexist; they think they can devalue her as a woman and she becomes sexualised," said Women's Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah.

"The average Malaysian has to send a strong message to politicians and political parties  that they will not accept this. It cannot just be NGOs speaking up. Political leaders across the board also have to come out and condemn this," said Josiah.

This view was also shared by the All Women's Action Society (Awam) which issued a press release on Tuesday condemning sexist smear tactics against women in politics. 

"We need to be serious about fielding women, who demonstrate their integrity and commitment to the interests of the rakyat, in politics. Despite formally allowing women to participate in politics, societal pressure in Malaysia still actively discourages women from doing so, and this includes attempts to humiliate or demean female politicians in an effort to push women away from politics," said Awam.

"As a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Malaysia needs to step up its efforts to enhance women’s participation at the decision making level at both public and private sectors in line with the progress made in women’s education," said Awam.

Meanwhile Sisters in Islam programme manager Suri Kempe also took a swipe at such tactics, calling the attempts to portray Dyana Sofya as a 'bad' Muslim woman "deplorable and low".

She suggested that political parties make all members undergo gender  sensitisation training.

"An easy benchmark for politicians is to ask themselves, "if this were a man, would I make these same comments?" I'm sure male politicians Rafizi Ramli or Khairy Jamaluddin being relatively young politicians themselves, never had their looks questioned in relation to their skills and experience," said Suri.

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politics , women , Dyana Sofya , sexist , bikini


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