Malaysia’s first female top Judge is ‘Big Step’ for Women’s Justice.
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has appointed its first female top judge, leading to calls from human rights activists to reform the country’s judiciary, and improve the low conviction rates for crimes against women. Widely seen as a progressive judge, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, an ethnic Muslim Malay woman, was unveiled as the country’s next chief justice by the prime minister’s office recently.
There have been a rising number of female judges in Malaysia’s top courts in recent years, but women’s rights groups hoped her appointment would help tackle the low conviction rates in cases like rape and domestic violence.
Latheefa Koya from Lawyers for Liberty, a non-profit of human rights lawyers, said the appointment was a “big step”.
“It makes a difference when it comes to cases which involve the rights of women – rights at the workplace, marriage and divorce,” said the executive director.”If you have gender balance in the judiciary, it only means there will be consideration and understanding from a woman’s perspective,” she added.
Malaysia’s government, which came to power a year ago on promises of reforms, has pledged to improve its record on women rights. Women’s rights groups however, have criticised the government for failing to fulfil an election promise to have at least a third of women in policy-making positions. Malaysia was ranked 101 out of 14 countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2018 Gender Gap Index after scoring poorly on political empowerment.
(Extracted from news.trust.org)