The Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) fully supports the efforts by the DAP women’s wing towards fielding more women for the minimum 30% of local councillor posts as part of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto promise to ensure that women make up at least 30% of policymakers in every level of governance.
The WCC recognises that local councils are often the level of government making decisions that most closely affect citizens’ lives. With better representation of women at this level, we hope that critical gender issues surrounding families, childcare, education, safety and so on will be more strongly raised, debated and acted upon by all our leaders, both women and men.
The WCC particularly supports the position expressed by Chong Eng, the Penang state executive councillor for women, family development, gender inclusiveness and religions other than Islam – that in the event that there are not enough willing candidates to be found within the DAP, the women’s wing of the DAP will request the party to select and appoint capable and talented women from outside the party.
This is a laudable move which demonstrates a firm and practical commitment to increasing women’s representation in political leadership – regardless of party lines. In our view, this stance is in line with the progressive and inclusive ideals of Malaysia Baru.
We call upon the leaders and the women’s wings of all the other Pakatan Harapan parties to follow suit in demonstrating this practical commitment to gender equality in decision-making.