NGO Empower says it is disappointed PAS cited gender as one of the reasons to reject Wan Azizah as the Selangor MB.
PETALING JAYA: The Communications and Media Officer of Empower, Yasmin Masidi, has stated her disappointment that PAS’ clergy wing still cannot accept Wan Azizah as the Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) because she is a woman.
Citing a statement a PAS representative made to an online news agency recently, Yasmin quotes PAS as saying they rejected the PKR president “due to her gender, along with two other reasons”.
Expressing her disagreement Yasmin said, “Honesty and integrity are qualities that should be part of leadership criteria, not gender.”
Yasmin also said that following PAS’ statement on gender, members of the NGO were “especially disappointed that PAS continues to hide behind its version of Islam to justify gender discrimination.”
Yasmin added, “Malaysian women – including Muslim women – have proven themselves capable of being leaders and decision-makers at all levels of society, despite the many barriers in their way”.
“Even in the classical period, Islamic history is filled with examples of women leaders such as Hurrah Malikah Arwa’ bint Ahmad, who was the head of administration for Yemen on behalf of the Fatimid Caliphs in the 9th century.”
Yasmin cited modern Muslim-majority nations including Pakistan and Bangladesh that have had women heads of state.
Another issue of contention was the conflicting statements PAS has made regarding the suitability of Wan Azizah as the MB.
Yasmin said that on August 14, PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali had said that “gender was not the reason” however a later statement saying the exact opposite was told to an online news portal.