PRS women: We deserve to be appreciated, given our just dues

Doris (second right) leads participants and guest in a battle-cry at Bengkel Siap Siaga, Gerak Gempur Wanita PRS workshop. At right is Masing.

KUCHING, Feb 24: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) women’s wing wants to be fairly recognised and to be given the opportunity to get what they rightly deserve.

Urging the party to let go of its male-centric mindset, its women’s wing chief Datuk Seri Doris Sophia Brodie said party leaders know very well that its female members are equally competent.

Speaking at the launch of Bengkel Siap Siaga, Gerak Gempur Wanita PRS workshop today, Doris bluntly stated that the women’s wing felt neglected, excluded and more often than not, playing second fiddle to their male counterparts.

“It is much like the quote by Clare Booth Luce: ‘In politics, women type the letters, lick the stamps, distribute the pamphlets and get out the vote. Men get elected!’. I think there is sarcasm in this quote but and we really hope PRS will not make it a culture,” she said.

“Please do not take us for granted for too long. Our numbers are increasing by the hours, days and years, as the famous quote goes, ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you’. In short, don’t do unto us nor suppress us women in PRS for too long, as we may retaliate when the time comes,” Doris warned.

Citing statistics, Doris said in the third quarter of 2017, there were 1,212,108 registered voters in Sarawak, out of which 608,532 (50.20 per cent) are women voters.

“To be specific, in our six parliamentary seats, it shows that Sri Aman has 32,733 voters of which 16,423 (50.17 per cent) are women, Lubok Antu has 20,758 voters of which 10,382 (50.01 per cent) are women, Julau has 24,936 voters of which 12,353 (49.54 per cent) are women, Kanowit has 20,959 voters of which 10,803 (51.54 per cent) are women, Selangau has 29,939 voters of which 15,028 (50.20 per cent) are women and Hulu Rajang has 27,363 voters of which 13,780 (50.36 per cent) are women.”

Thus, based on these statistics, approximately 50 per cent of the voters in all PRS-held parliamentary seats are women and based on past records in both state and parliamentary elections, the majority of the voters that turn out to vote are women.

“This clearly indicates that women are the ‘king-makers’ in all PRS constituencies. Why? Because women turn out in droves to vote and deliver the six PRS parliamentary seats. Because of this, we in the women’s wing cannot rest on our laurels.

“We continue to be hopeful, therefore, on behalf of the party’s women’s wing. We seek the utmost support of everyone to help us realise this dream of having at least one woman candidate in GE14 (14th General Election).

“As their chief, I am flattered ‘to the moon’ if this happens, as it will be the biggest breakthrough for PRS,” Doris said.

However, she also gave assurance that the women’s wing will continue to give their undivided support and rally behind party president Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing’s leadership by abiding by any decision he made.

She also believe that that Masing will uphold as well as look upon loyalty, discipline and commitment as the main virtues to hold the party together and the women’s wing pledged to assist in enduring all the six parliamentary seats stayed with PRS.