Malaysian youth group organises women-only virtual mock Parliament in the hope more will take a seat at the table

A woman wearing a mask in the design of the Jalur Gemilang is pictured in Kuala Lumpur August 16, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A woman wearing a mask in the design of the Jalur Gemilang is pictured in Kuala Lumpur August 16, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — A youth group dubbed “Malaysia Young Generation” will hold a virtual mock Parliament for young women on August 14 and 15.

The programme director Shatesh Kumar Sangar said that the event will see 222 participants aged 15 to 30 gathering to discuss issues related to women, gender equality and social matters.

“Malaysia Young Generation (MYGEN) has taken the initiative to hold a ‘Young Women's Parliament’ programme which will bring together 222 representatives of young women aged 15 to 30 from various backgrounds to discuss policies related to women's affairs, gender equality, social issues and so on.

“The programme will be conducted on August 14 and 15 2021 online (virtual). The target female participants for this programme are from beliawanis, professionals, students, upper secondary school students, the aboriginal community, the disabled, women activists and others.

“The speakers of this Young Women Parliamentary conference are from among members of Parliament and former lawmakers,” he said in a statement.

The youth group also encouraged applications from the hearing impaired community who are interested in being one of the debaters as the conference will use the services of sign language interpreters.

Apart from that, Shatesh added that the objective of the mock Parliament is to scout talents from among young women as well as to encourage gender-inclusive political platforms.

The group said that the current and former lawmakers who will mentor the participants include former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar, Kedah Umno Information chief Datuk Suraya Yaacob, former minister Yeo Bee Yin and Deputy Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

“In my perspective, it is time for women to speak out, and stop being used to garner votes for political parties. Women should be given a more important role in politics rather than just being vote-getters or a role as a link between the people during elections.

“All women's wings must urge their respective political parties to give at least 40 per cent of the total seats to women, if this is not met then the women's wing does not need to help the party in the next election campaign,” he added.

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