In an era where women’s rights and gender equality is actively promulgated, there are leaders like Bung Moktar and Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun who are harping on women’s menses issues… ridiculously trivial and mindless.
One quoted “leaks every month” and the latter has blabbered that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail could not be the Selangor Mentri Besar simply because she has monthly issues, MENSES!! This is a derogating, disgusting, insensitive and discriminating remark on a woman in this modern age, said MIC Federal Territory State Women Leader, Kogilam Suppiah.
Gender inequality, oppression and discrimination against women in politics by using the silliest ever statement only reflects on the quality, cheap and sexist mindset of political leaders and individuals in our country.
Judging by Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail – age (61), may I ask you Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun “What if she has reached menopause?” what other illogical and absurd reasons you would come up with to justify your statement that she cannot hold a position of Menteri Besar?
Does Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun is aware that we are currently living under a record high number (21) of simultaneous female world leader such as Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany), Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Denmark), President, Dilmaro Rousseff (Brazil), President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina) among others and some of the most prominent Muslim female leaders are former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, former Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller and the Bangladeshi Prime Ministers Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina Wajed .
In addition, my learned Muslim friends also have shared that the Qur’an contains verses that may be interpreted to permit or support the role of women in politics, such as its mention of the Queen of Sheba without ever negating the validity of her role as a leader and verse 33:53 which advocates all genders to contribute morality for the good of the public. Further, the Hadith provides numerous examples of women having public leadership roles. Aisha Abu Bakr, one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives, often accompanied the Prophet to battles, even leading an army at the Battle of the Camel.
Regrettably, there have been many instances where highly derogatory comments relating to women have been uttered by politicians and male counterparts in our country. If we continue to take lackadaisical attitude in reprimanding such comments, it will only further endorse systemic sexist mindset.
Kogilam Suppiah who is also the President of Pure Soul Welfare Council of Malaysia call upon all women regardless of political ideology, colour and creed to stand united and urge the government to prioritise and to take the necessary steps to eliminate all forms of discrimination and gender inequalities against women.
We must act in solidarity to urge the government to recognise and promote the acceptance and understanding of equality of all persons under the law by developing a national CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) implementation plan, which should be embedded into the National Policy on Women and also strongly consider amending the discriminatory provisions within the Federal Constitution among others as priority.
Discrimination against women obstructs the participation of women in politics, social, cultural and economic growth of our country in achieving a developed nation status by 2020. It also violates the principles of gender equality, basic rights and respect for human dignity.
“Manameh Maarividu – Proactive Action Towards Positive Transformation”
KOGILAM SUPPIAH, K.M.N.