I would say that the Pakatan Rakyat alliance has taken a very pro-active stand by ensuring that at least 30% of the seats allocated at any given general election should comprise of women politicians so that there will be a better level playing field when it comes to women in power in Malaysia.
The empowerment of women will only be realised if women themselves change their attitudes and mindsets. One says this because we do not see women being champions of the have-nots, with exception of those who are the torchbearers in areas like care-giving for the elderly, the handicapped, the battered, abused and most of all our children.
But when it comes to politics, we find that women are not what we would want them to be ie, in the mould of a leader-aspirant who can lead the country and cleanse all our institutions of governance of what plagues them the most- corruption.
After the political awakening of March 2008, we saw many brave women politicians battling it out with the police despite the fact that our police force is world-renowned for being sexist with its brute, gender insensitive policemen always waiting for an oppurtunity to catch women politicians at the right moment.
With the likes of Nurul Izzah Anwar, Teresa Kok, Jenice Lee, Teo Nie Ching, Zuraida Kamaruddin and Fuziah Salleh, we are seeing the trend of brave women politicians coming to the forefront and taking the lead. This is something which should be encouraged.
Despite facing the risk of being arrested and incarcerated, these women are showing the way for what future women leaders of Malaysia should be made of and be prepared for if they ever want to see change happen in this country.
Whereas for women on the otherside of the aisle, where power, position and patronage hold the day, it is nothing but for the pursuit of power which will open the doors for the amassment of wealth. On this side, the women are as ruthless as the men and are very active participants in corrupt activities.
They are capable and will not bat an eyelid when it comes to taking something more than what they are supposed to. So at the end of the day, the ball has been set rolling by the Pakatan alliance because they see the potential of a women's awakening, although not as rapid as they would want it to be.
But it is something which is worth investing our time in as amongst the young, the smarter ones seem to be the girls. It is because of societal pressures and norms coupled with religion, tradition and culture that these capable young women are not coming to the fore to take up leadership roles.
But the times are a-changing and the men are beginning to realise that change can only be effected if women are there with them marching head-on to overcome the obstacles that face them.
Malaysian women as such are capable but they, too, are in the same old mindset that their menfolk are in and they just can't shake themselves out of it. If they can look beyond race and religion, being the nurturers of the young, they can shape the minds of the future generation to reach great heights.
But sadly they don't. They dominate the civil service and all the key institutions of governance so just imagine what these women can do if they decide that enough is enough and that the rot has got to stop.
If the men judges are incapable, the women judges can take the lead to free the judiciary. If the men prosecutors are incapable and afraid of their political masters, the women prosecutors can put a stop to selective prosecution. If the men just sit and warm their seats in the numerous departments, the women can ensure that they will be given the opportunity to lead if they can improve the delivery system.
They can ensure that change takes place at the lower levels when a policy change is made and this will weed out and put the ‘little Napoleons’ out of business.
But sadly, all the above is not happenning because the women too are equally corrupt. Perhaps the 30% allocation will see the emergence of a new group of women that will take on the system with determination for change.
In this aspect, one sees that the Pakatan alliance is on the right track provided it does not impede their advancement and progress by imposing on them stereotyped political values.
Women taking up men's causes should be applauded and given the support and by doing this the barrier is overcome and men will accept them as their leaders. Come on women, you can do it!