GE15: Political parties failed to field 30% women candidates, says PantauPRU15

Malaysians are encouraged to use the hashtags #wanitapemimpinrakyat #min30peratuswanita #morewomenbettergovernance on social media in support of more women leaders in parliament. Photo: Freepik

A coalition led by the National Council of Women’s Organisation (NCWO) says that political parties have failed to keep their promise of fielding 30% women candidates for GE15.

PantauPRU15 – which comprises 200 women NGOs and 20 like-minded civil society organisations and academicians – was set up to highlight the importance of increasing women’s representation in legislative bodies, urge political parties to field at least 30% women candidates in GE15, monitor and analyse the performance of political parties with regards to the number of women candidates in GE15, and provide professional and psychosocial support to women candidates.

It says that “political parties in Malaysia have failed to recognise women as leaders and be selected as candidates in GE15”.

Although the different political parties had committed to the target of fielding 30% women candidates in the elections at the “Driving the Reality of Increasing Women’s Representation in the 15th General Election and the Legislative Body” forum earlier, based on analysis of data obtained as of Nov 3, the percentage of female candidates announced for parliamentary seats is less than 30%, the coalition revealed.

The percentages of female candidates in the various political party coalitions are: 18% for Pakatan Harapan, 13.3% for Gerakan Tanah Air, 11% for Barisan Nasional, 9.3% for Perikatan Nasional, 16.1% for Gabungan Parti Sarawak, and 12.5% for Gabungan Rakyat Sabah-Barisan Nasional.

“Pakatan Harapan’s performance was largely contributed by DAP, which achieved 25.4% female candidates.

“This was followed by 20% in UPKO (United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation), 17% in PKR and 17% in Muda (Malaysian United Democratic Alliance). Pejuang (Parti Pejuang Tanah Air) announced 19.4% female candidates.

“While the results did not achieve the 30% target, this may nevertheless be a positive sign for an increase in women candidates.

“On the other hand, Umno, which announced its Supreme Council’s decision to field 30% women candidates in GE15 on Oct 2, only selected 10% female candidates, while two incumbents from GE14 were dropped,” the coalition said.

In Barisan Nasional, MCA was the best performer at 16%, while MIC announced 9%.

In Perikatan Nasional, only PAS recorded 12.5% but the number of women candidates decreased compared to GE14. Bersatu reached only 7.2% while Gerakan touched 10%.

“Despite the progress in some political parties, it is clear that overall, the leaders of political parties neither respect nor acknowledge the leadership of women who have demonstrated great calibre and are capable of enhancing the quality of party leadership and governance of the country with excellence,” it said, expressing its disappointment in the “broken promise” of the Umno Supreme Council.

“Trustworthiness is critical and we hold on to the hope of selecting a government that can be trusted to fulfill its commitments to all segments of the rakyat,” it said.

According to the coalition, increasing female candidacy for a better Malaysia is the responsibility of all political parties.

Malaysians are encouraged to use the hashtags #wanitapemimpinrakyat #min30peratuswanita #morewomenbettergovernance on social media in support of more women leaders in parliament.

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