Men continue to dominate politics in this year’s general elections, according to a review by gender equality advocates AWARE.
The Association of Women for Action and Research found that there were nearly four times more men than women contesting for parliamentary seats this year, with the Red Dot United followed by the People’s Action Party having the most gender-diverse slate of candidates.
“We took a look at the parties running in #GE2020, and found that Red Dot United and PAP come up tops for female representation, with 40% and 26.9% of their candidates being women, respectively,” it wrote about its study online yesterday.
“Overall, however, we’re sorry to note that male candidates still outnumber female candidates almost 4:1 in this election.”
Two out of the five Red Dot United candidates, Michelle Lee and Liyana Dhamirah, are women, while 25 out of the 93 PAP candidates are women.
There are 11 parties running for office on Friday.
For other parties, less than a quarter of their candidates are women.
Just after PAP is the Workers’ Party with 23.8% women candidates and the Progress Singapore Party with 20.8%.
There is only one woman candidate in the Reform, Peoples Voice and Singapore Democratic parties, respectively. There is no female representation at all in the National Solidarity, People’s Power, Singapore Democratic Alliance, and Singapore People’s parties.
AWARE also called for more representation of minority races.
“We need not only more women in Singapore government, but more non-Chinese women specifically, who can articulate and tackle what others, in their privilege, are unable to perceive,” it said.
It also noted that the inclusion of female candidates in political discussions is just the first step to achieving gender equality, listing Workers’ Party’s proposed policy to counter the gender pay gap in their manifesto and PAP’s broadcasts of their female candidates talking about issues concerning women, as examples.
“Of course, female representation is merely a first step, and not the only indicator of a political party’s commitment to gender equality,” they said.
“All of this is progress, and it’s been a long time coming. We hope to see all parties and the new government keep up this momentum into the future,” they added.
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