KUALA LUMPUR: The unity government is taking a progressive step by increasing women representation at the ministerial, and deputy ministerial levels, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said 23.6% of the Cabinet line-up under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were women compared to 15% in the previous administration.
She thanked the premier for appointing women to lead important portfolios in the government, citing the Education Minister (Fadhlina Sidek), Health Minister (Dr Zaliha Mustafa), Youth and Sports Minister (Hannah Yeoh) as well as the Law and Institutional Reform Minister (Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said).
Nancy Shukri said a mechanism is needed to fulfil the minimum 30% women's representation in Cabinet, and that political parties have to take the initiative to achieve the target, she told a press conference after opening the Post-15th General Election (GE15) Women’s Political Leadership Forum, with the theme “Moving Forward” here on Saturday (Dec 10).
"We propose a mechanism that reserves 30% of the seats for women candidates.
"First of all, we have to get the agreement of the leadership of the political parties, so the women’s wing leaders have to be brave enough to fight for it," she said.
Meanwhile, she said there were 187 female candidates (15.6%) compared to 1,199 male candidates who contested for 222 parliamentary constituencies in GE15.
She also said although the percentage of women's representation in the Dewan Rakyat decreased from 14.9% in 2021 to 13.5 % in 2022, there was an increase in the number of female candidates with 103 contesting parliamentary seats.