Hadi gets flak over remarks on women


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 06 Aug 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS acting president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has come under fire for his remarks that women are not suited to hold top positions such as judges and should instead concentrate on working in the welfare and educational fields. 

Politicians and women activists hit out at the Terengganu Mentri Besar, saying his statement which was “insulting”, “outdated” and “baseless” showed that PAS leaders had belittled the role of women in society. 

In Terengganu, state Puteri Umno chief Nordiana Shafie said: “It clearly shows that PAS leaders are always looking down on women, even to the point of degrading them.”  

On Monday, Hadi told participants of a forum on the well-being of Muslim women that he did not think women should hold judicial and administrative positions as some jobs posed a threat to them while others were just too stressful. 

Hadi added that women by nature had to go through menstruation cycles and pregnancies, which would affect their ability to withstand pressure. 

In Petaling Jaya, Puteri Umno chief Azalina Othman Said said Islam never specified the jobs that suited women.  

Women’s Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah said: “Pregnancies and menstrual cycle do not hold women back. It is the attitude like the Mentri Besar’s that reinforces these unjust prejudices against women.” 

In Kuala Lumpur, Bernama quoted Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as saying that Hadi had failed to give credence to the role of women as homemakers and a career women. 

“I hope Hadi can show us where in the Quran, hadith or sunnah does it mention that a woman’s contribution to the family and country was limited to being a teacher or a social worker,” she said. 

She added that menstruation and pregnancy were God-given features to women and should not be used as reasons to exclude them from holding important positions.  

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