From talk to action: Kok calls for tangible steps to empower women in politics

KUALA LUMPUR: Political parties need to ramp up efforts to bolster women's involvement in the political arena, especially in light of International Women's Day.

Seputeh member of parliament Teresa Kok said it was important for all political parties to commit to increasing women's participation.

"The theme 'Wanita Dijulang Negara Gemilang' emphasises the vital role of women in the nation's progress and development.

"It's crucial to recognise that nation-building is a shared responsibility, and women must have equal representation in Parliament.

"To achieve this, at least 30 per cent of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat should be filled by women," she said.

According to Kok, Malaysia lags behind in female representation, ranking 150th out of 184 countries.

Meanwhile, DAP has taken proactive steps to promote gender equality by amending its party constitution to ensure 30 per cent representation of women in its top decision-making body.

"Post GE15, DAP emerged as the party with the highest number of women Parliamentarians in the Dewan Rakyat, demonstrating its commitment to women's political empowerment," she said.

Kok said increasing women's representation in leadership positions within political parties is crucial, as it paves the way for more women candidates.

"However, it is essential that institutionalised biases and discrimination against women are checked to ensure their fair participation in politics.

"Political parties must develop comprehensive roadmaps to train, mentor, and support women as viable candidates at all levels of government.

"This requires not only political will but also financial resources and grassroot support," she said

Kok emphasised that the focus on women's issues should be more than just surface-level gestures, it must be supported by a sincere dedication to advancing progress and growth.

Prioritising essential aspects like women's empowerment, fostering supportive environments, enhancing capabilities, and strengthening social welfare is crucial for a prosperous nation.

"This International Women's Day, let's commit to endorsing political parties that advocate for women's rights and create opportunities for female leaders, activists, and journalists to excel.

"By working together, we can overcome obstacles and guarantee that the voices of all women resonate strongly within parliamentary settings," she said.

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