Gender Issues are About Democracy


Noble goals tend to be almost impossible to reach. But that does not make them less noble, and that does not make them less necessary. Above all, that does not make the injustices more acceptable. Positioning of women, it must be argued, is more important than positions for women.

A prominent woman politician recently lamented the enormous difficulty faced to achieve the United Nation's (UN) target of 30% women participation in Malaysia. Such a sentiment is understandable, especially for those who have sacrificed energy, time and resources towards this noble aim.

Today, more women than men have a first degree and more women than men are pursuing a postgraduate degree; yet this gender disproportionate academic achievement does not reflect itself in the overall composition of power in public life. At the highest level in politics – the Dewan Rakyat – only 10% of Members of Parliament are women, a far cry from the UN’s goal.

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