Female village heads on the cards?

Hakim Hayat

With more women taking up leadership roles in the public and private sectors in Brunei, Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari said that there should be no reason why women cannot take up the post of a village head.

On the fifth day of the 17th LegCo session yesterday, Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa pointed out that women are today spearheading many sectors in the country, including the highest office holders in a number of government-linked companies (GLC).

“The active participation of women in community projects, mukim and village consultative councils and associations cannot be denied. In fact, women are not exempt from holding high-risk and security-based positions, including fire and rescue, paramedics, police and others that requires commitment, especially by working at night.”

The selection of village head is made through the support and nomination of village residents, then it would not be wrong if the village head is chosen regardless of gender.

“It should be done in a fair manner though a democratic process,” she said.

As the Mukim Penghulu and Village Head Scheme is relatively new and is opening opportunities for the youth to nominate themselves, she asked if an evaluation has been made in changing the eligibility requirement for a village head, to give more opportunity for women.

Acknowledging the prominence of women holding high-ranking position in the government, Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said the matter will be taken into consideration and evaluated for the Mukim Penghulu and Village Head Scheme.