Female Candidates’ Electability Greater: Report

Although fewer in number than in the last national election, women candidates for this month’s National Assembly race are more likely to get elected than in 2003, according to a report released Saturday.

The Committee to Promote Wo­men in Politics, which is made up of seven local NGOs, said that the 3 percent drop in the number of fe­male candidates this year compared to the 2003 national election “has raised disappointment among women advocates.”

According to National Election Committee statistics, 15 percent of candidates in 2003 were female, compared to just 12.3 percent this year.

But the NEC data also shows that more women are ranked higher on party candidate lists than in 2003. This means “more women are put in places where they have more of a chance to actually be elected,” said Thida Khus, director of the CPWP.

“In the past, women were places at the very low level spots” on the election lists, she said.

“We want to see more [women] in office because we feel they will contribute to policy that will affect families and children at a grass-roots level,” Thida Khus added. “We want more attention on economics, education and social issues that would better the population.”

CPP lawmaker Ho Naun, chair of the Assembly Commission on Women’s Affairs, said Parliament aims to increase the number of women in government by creating new posts at the district and provincial level.

Keat Sokhun, Human Rights Party lawmaker candidate and former Minister of Women’s Affairs, said about 20 percent of his party’s candidates are female and most are second or third on the candidate lists.

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