Women's sufferage

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 October, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 October, 1993, 12:00am

LILLY Wong is wrong when she talks of ''more and more female Legislative councillors'', (South China Morning Post, September 28).

Before September 1991 there were 13 women Legco members. With Anson Chan Fang On-sang as Chief Secretary, an Official Member, there will be eight.

Next year District Board elections, and in 1995 Legco elections, will provide women with the opportunity of increasing their active participation in politics at all levels. We hope enough is being done to help them to do so in a society which in too manyways discourages them.

The Government, in releasing its Green Paper on ''Equal Opportunities for Women and Men'', has justified it as an exercise in educating the community. The paper's content does not begin to satisfy this claim. What it is doing is further to unite and politicise women's groups. All being well, women who are not members of groups will also become involved. This, in formal political terms, could have long-term benefits.

But we worry that the need to respond in depth to this Green Paper is also a distraction for women's groups. It may be a dissipation of energies and scarce resources. For this is hardly the Government's first exercise in prevarication.

How can we quickly obtain the necessary impetus and resources to ensure the full involvement of women in the forthcoming elections? Last May, Legco called upon the Government to set up a Women's Commission. In December they reinforced that with a vote for CEDAW - the convention to eliminate discrimination. A government which took Legco seriously would feel obliged to give women thesemechanisms for political, economic and social equality without further delay.




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