Women MPs call for gender-sensitive Parliament


WOMEN MPs from both the government and Opposition called on the Parliament to promote gender-sensitive agendas and work towards advancing gender equality, in conjunction with International Women’s Day which is celebrated on March 8 every year around the world.

In a joint statement yesterday, the women MPs said they are determined to make the country’s Parliament gender-sensitive as per the guidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

“In line with our responsibilities as MPs, we always aspire and strive to make the Malaysian Parliament world-class. We also agree to uphold the determination to make the Malaysian Parliament gender-sensitive as enshrined in the guidelines of the IPU,” the statement said.

Six courses of action were listed and will be pursued jointly in order for the Parliament to be an institution with the characteristics as outlined by the IPU.

This includes giving priority to bills and policies that lead to gender equality; conducting debates in the House that reflect the sensitivity of gender issues, evaluating the possibility of reforming the electoral system to ensure more balanced gender representation in Parliament; and allocating budgets that are responsive to gender needs in all aspects of the work of ministries and agencies.

“Also, working towards creating gender equality in the implementation of the Special Select Committee programme in the Parliament; and ensuring that the development of infrastructure in Parliament, as well as policies related to civil servants who work with MPs, takes into account gender needs were also included,” it stated.

Among the MPs are Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Parit Sulong MP Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad, Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Pandan MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Batang Lupar MP Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Kota Tinggi MP Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique and Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto.

They also invited their colleagues and other MPs to participate in the pledge, adding that the joint commitment from MPs who agree to the pledge after this will be taken to the IPU and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the end of March 2021.

Representatives of the community and the public are also encouraged to urge their respective MPs to sign and be committed to the pledge.