MUDA represents a opportunity for voters to break the patterns of exclusivity and patriarchy in the political landscape.
Public confidence in the political parties, be they from the governing coalition or the opposition, is at an all time low.
The people have seen how the politicians seek only to enrich themselves in the last two decades.
Political parties have claimed to be committed to gender equality, but most have fallen short.
Yes, they can claim to have a women’s wing. But in reality the women members are often relegated to supporting roles.
While female party members may talk about women’s rights, their parties are generally silent on reforms for gender equality, such as citizenship for children born overseas to a Malaysian mother.
It is often extremely difficult to eliminate gender power imbalances in established parties.
A democracy without the participation of half a country’s population is not a democracy.
Muda has broken the norm as the rare party promoting women’s participation in politics.
Its success in the general election could result in reforms for gender inclusion.
This will allow greater political representation for women and other marginalised groups.
A growing body of evidence indicates that female participation in politics can lead to democratic gains, including greater policy responsiveness to diverse citizen needs, reduced risk of conflict recurrence, and more political stability.
Political parties in other countries that take women’s participation seriously have shown that they benefit electorally.
Muda has shown that its women and men members participate equally in party leadership and decision making and have equal chances of being nominated and elected without fear of backlash or reprisals.
The party has shown success in mobilising civil society – such as the Aunties Brigade – to its causes.
The Aunties Brigade could be a platform for women who would not call themselves feminists, but nonetheless are committed to female empowerment.
Women in this country have a long history of mobilisation. It was women who raised funds for Tunku Abdul Rahman to go to London to seek independence for the country almost 65 years ago.
It was a predominantly female bench in the Federal Court that returned trust and integrity to the country’s judiciary.
Muda can start by putting women with strong social ties on its electoral candidate list. – September 29, 2022.
* FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.