COMMENT | With the formal nomination of candidates this weekend, attention turned – at long last – to women in GE15, or rather the lack of them. A meager 127 women, or 13.5 percent of all the candidates, are running for parliament. This is not a significant increase in women running for office compared to earlier elections.
Illustrative, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Umno slated only 16 female candidates, the lowest share in decades from the party that helped bring about female representation in Malaysia. Altogether, Umno/BN slated 29 women.
By contrast, Muhyiddin Yassin’s PN fielded only 15 women – a shockingly low figure. This is not a surprise given the dominance of PAS in this coalition, but it also speaks to how low Bersatu values female leadership. The PN coalition is known for removing women from GLC appointments when it assumed power, especially those that were seen as successful in their jobs.
This 4th piece in my “On the Road to GE15” series looks at the role of women, highlighting patterns of displacement of female candidates and the (limited) engagement with women voters.
It includes my research on ordinary women’s participation...