Gender equality under the spotlight

Azlan Othman

The Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday attended an online meeting on ‘The Asean-EU Gender Parity: State of Play and Perspective’, hosted by the European Parliament.

The meeting discussed gender parity issues of mutual interest in assessing gender equality in any group, organisation or field.

The Asean and European Union (EU) are comparable in terms of size and population, and both sides have made commitments to develop gender equality.

The meeting was co-chaired by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman, and member of European Parliament and Vice-Chair Delegation for Relations with the Countries of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN Marianne Vind.

The Asean-EU Gender Parity meeting was attended by delegates from Asean parliaments and European Parliament, as well as several panellists from the European Institute for Gender Inequality, EU-ASEAN Business Council and the ASEAN Youth Organisation (AYO).

Legislative Council members Yang Berhormat Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Awang Haji Abdul Rahman, Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii, Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Awang Haji Ash’ari and Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad as well as Secretary to the Cabinet Ministers’ Council and Clerk to the Legislative Council Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Judin bin Haji Asar during the meeting. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

At the same time, both Asean and EU are facing similar problems in their efforts to enhance or support gender parity. In achieving gender equality, four core areas have been identified: political empowerment, economic participation and opportunities, educational achievement, and health and survival.

In Brunei’s statement, women play a crucial role in nation-building and have been given higher priority in the national agenda. The nation also gives equal access to both genders in education, career pathways, all industries and appropriate positions according to our cultural norms.

Also representing LegCo at the meeting were Yang Berhormat Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii, Yang Berhormat Khairunnisa binti Haji Ash’ari and Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad.

Also in attendance was Secretary to the Cabinet Ministers’ Council and Clerk to the LegCo Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Jaya Dato Paduka Haji Judin bin Haji Asar.

The meeting also gathered parliamentarians, business federations, non-governmental organisations and youth from Asean and EU in discussing practices and views on gender parity, and in the path forward.