Time women speak out on national issues, says activist

maria-chin-1

PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah has urged women to speak out on political and human rights issues, many of which appear to have no resolution in sight.

Speaking to FMT, Maria said now was the time for women to make their voices heard as their exposure to current issues had gained much traction as of late.

“Women account for about 50% of Malaysia’s population and 40%-50% of the total voters in the country.

“So we should have a say on the issues in the country, and it should carry some weight with policymakers,” she said.

According to Maria, many of these issues had not been resolved or had been kept under wraps as policymakers continued delaying discussions on the matters.

“Like political violence. It has been going on for a very long time, and nothing is being done to combat the issue.

“Like corruption. Everybody knows it, but what are we doing about it?

“Like domestic violence against women. These are among the issues that have yet to see the light of day, and we should address this.

“Women in Malaysia as a whole should address this as one voice,” she said.

For this reason, she said, she and other prominent women activists would take to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Sept 10 to protest against these issues, among others.

“The rally is an event that is led by women, but we are not focusing on just one demographic. It is open for all to come and support, even the men,” she said.

The Bersih 2.0 chairperson will be joined by the likes of former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, and G25’s Noor Faridah Arifin.

The rally is scheduled to start at 5pm. The group will march from the Maju Junction mall to the Sogo shopping complex.

“Around 1,000 rally-goers are expected to turn up at the event and participants are encouraged to don a purple shirt to show support, bringing together posters that show a clear message to protest against the issues,” Ambiga told FMT.