Meeting to discuss greater women representation in politics next week, says Rina Harun

KUALA LUMPUR: With a general election looming, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will be holding a meeting to gather female representatives from all political parties next week to discuss having more women leaders in the country.

Its minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun said the meeting would be held at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in collaboration with the National Council of Women's Organisation.

"This is not about our political differences, this is about women supporting women.

"We want more women in leadership roles in society, determining policies and ensuring there is firm decision making done.

"Since there is talk of GE, this is timely because there are only 14% of female representatives in the Dewan Rakyat.

"We have only been talking about having 30% representation, so this time we must push for more at the parliamentary and state levels," Rina told reporters after the soft launch of the World Women Leadership Summit (WWLS) 2023 here Tuesday (Sept 27).

Earlier, Rina spoke about Malaysia's 103rd ranking on the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index 2022, while Singapore ranked 49th, Thailand (79) and Indonesia (92).

She said the index indicated that women ranked lowest in political empowerment.

Hence, Rina added that it was time to walk the talk of having more women candidates in politics.

Citing the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act 2021 as an example, she said it took more than 12 years to realise it.

"We can have the non-governmental organisations to push for agendas, policies and new laws but you need someone in the decision-making seat to ensure it gets done.

"It was not easy to push for the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act, if I was not strong and if a minister does not want to do it, things will also not get done.

"You need the political will and the right people as decision makers to see things through till the end," she said.

On the WWLS 2023, she said the event will see 20 international female icons including those from the public sector as well as corporate and country leaders taking part.

More than 2,000 delegates from 30 countries are expected to be part of the summit which will take place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from March 2 to 3, 2023.

Themed "New Norms, Fresh Hopes, Big Dreams", the inaugural summit will discuss women's leadership at a global level on topics such as health, science and technology, business, finance, education, government administration and the environment.

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