The Truth is Out: Gender Discrimination Still Entrenched in PAS

The Truth is Out: Gender Discrimination Still Entrenched in PAS
17 September 2014

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) is outraged by reports on an online news portal that PAS’s clergy wing rejected Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Menteri Besar due to her gender, along with two other reasons.

We are especially disappointed that PAS continues to hide behind its version of Islam to justify gender discrimination. 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. Modern Muslim-majority nations including Pakistan and Bangladesh have had women heads of state.

Closer to home, 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.

EMPOWER reminds everyone that PAS earlier claimed that gender was not reason for its rejection of Dr Wan Azizah as a candidate for the Selangor Menteri Besar. This was conveyed in a press conference on the 14th of August by PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali.

We remind PAS that honesty and integrity are qualities that should be part of leadership criteria, not gender. Given PAS’s disingenuous statements over the selection issue, how can they expect the electorate to trust them on accountability and administrative capabilities?

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