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More women in govt better for all, say advocates
[Image: women-parliament-bernama-120321-1.jpg]

PETALING JAYA: Women’s rights groups claim that better female representation in government will result in fairer and more inclusive policymaking.

Karen Lai, executive director of the Women’s Centre for Change Penang, and Women’s Aid Organisation spokesman Hannah Jambunathan told FMT they believed that quotas for women in legislative bodies would be a good start towards achieving equality in leadership.

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Malaysia currently ranks 145th in the world in female representation in Parliament, with a mere 14.9% of parliamentary seats and 13.6% of senatorships held by women. This puts Malaysia second last in Southeast Asia, ahead of only Brunei.

Lai said female representation should be “non-negotiable” and that research by the US-based National Democratic Institute indicated that female legislators tended to emphasise quality of life, families and minorities, and were more likely to work across party lines.

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