Dr M: Not enough women in Cabinet, but more now in top posts

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad delivers his keynote address, on the first anniversary of Pakatan Harapan as the government, in Putrajaya May 9, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad delivers his keynote address, on the first anniversary of Pakatan Harapan as the government, in Putrajaya May 9, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, May 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad highlighted today his administration’s appointment of women to top posts, even as it failed to achieve its quota for women in Cabinet.

The prime minister also pointed out in a keynote address commemorating his administration’s first year that women have been appointed as the chief justice, Bank Negara Malaysia governor and the heads of government-linked companies (GLCs).

“Initiatives for women have been increased. Although the government is not yet satisfied with the effort to place more women in policy making, some appointments showed the commitment to this,” he told a packed hall here.

“A lot of top government officials are women,” he added.

In its manifesto for the 14th general election, Pakatan Harapan (PH) had made five special commitments to empower and give due recognition to women, with further sub-commitments including “ensuring that at least 30 per cent of policymakers are women”.

Last year, the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said of the 11 policy advisory councils or committee formed by the PH government, only three have at least 30 per cent representation, and two have no women at all.

Out of the 11 councils or committees listed by JAG, four are under the prime minister, both the finance minister and education minister oversee two each, while one each comes under the human resources minister, the foreign minister and the agriculture and agro-based industry minister.

Screengrab of table by Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).
Screengrab of table by Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

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