Politicisation of Gender Issues in Malaysia

The intent of this commentary is to demonstrate that politics presents a critical site for understanding and promoting pro-development through the formulation and implementation of “good” public policies. In Malaysia, for example, politics has been integral in shaping the public policy making process in recent decades. Malaysia now has more laws, policies and mechanisms that support the advancement of women than any other South East Asian Countries, excluding gender equality law. However, in practice, policy and agenda setting is made against a backdrop of shifting political priorities and engagement by different political parties. This commentary identifies the key trends emerging from the rise of propagandised “apparatus” used by major political parties to attract women voters in the 13th General Election; and offers some reflections on how gender issues have been politicised in this context.

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