Annuar: Create awareness on political participation among women in rural areas
2 Aug 2021
By Ilona Andrew
KOTA KINABALU: There is a need to raise awareness of political involvement among women in rural areas instead of just focusing more on family development and increasing economic status.
Datuk Annuar Ayub Aman said as an elected representative in Liawan which is located at the outskirts of town, he has met a lot of the women constituents who have different demands where political aspiration is out of the picture.
“While I agree that there should be gender equality between men and women where all should be given the opportunities to speak up, more (political) awareness should be done among women in rural areas.
“Many women in rural areas still feel reluctant when it comes to voicing out their aspiration. Therefore, we need to reach out to them,” he said.
He was speaking for a panel discussion held by the Sabah Women’s Action-Resource Group (SAWO) and saw participation from women representatives of all political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Sabah, yesterday.
According to Annuar, while women sometimes tend to be shy and leave men to speak up for them, there is a need for them to have more courage when voicing out their aspirations.
“However, sometimes women politicians speak more about the development in their constituency instead of gender issues. We have to have more women representation in Parliament.
“Even so, political candidates cannot be picked solely based on their gender as many factors should be taken into account instead, such as their qualities.
“To bring up women issues, I feel it is not necessary that they be channelled via politics as we also have a lot of strong women NGOs and civil movements.”
Meanwhile, Annuar hoped that an all-female mock parliamentary session can be held in Sabah like the one organised by the Malaysian Young Generation (MyGen) on Aug 14-15.
This way, he said, it would help men understand more of the issues that are near to the hearts of women.
Aside from Annuar, other panellists who were involved in the discussions are PKR's Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, DAP’s Sandakan MP Vivan Wong, and Warisan’s Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah.
The forum was moderated by Wirawati Warisan deputy chief Jo-Anna Sue Henley Rampas and SAPP women exco deputy chief Yvonne Wong.