Time to push for more women in elections, enact laws if necessary, says EC chief

  • Nation
  • Monday, 25 Nov 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: It is time Malaysia looked at more women participation in elections seriously and if needs be, promulgate new laws to ensure this happens, says Election Commission chief Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pic).

He said that this would not require laws if all parties were willing to draw up policies to ensure there is gender equity and participation in elections.

“We only have a 14% (of elected women) in the Parliament. In Pakistan, there are laws to give a quota of 33% and political parties have to nominate 5% of women candidates.

“There is also an initiative to allow transgender to participate in elections.

"There are initiatives which require laws but there are also initiatives which do not require new laws to be promulgated.

“Gender equity for example can be done through policies accepted by all parties but if policies do not work, then there will need to be laws to enforce the policies.

“We would love to create a narrative first. We will try to work on policies first, ” said Azhar, also known as Art Harun.

He was speaking to the media at the Commonwealth Election Professionals Initiative Asia Training Programme, co-partnered and hosted by the EC, held here on Monday (Nov 25).

The five-day programme features international experts discussing issues such as promoting sustainable electoral democracy, voter registration, and gender equity in elections.

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