Monday, November 2, 2009

Wanita MCA- A marriage is NOT meant to be spousal-quota-centric: Polygamy does not address woes of needy single mothers

Press statement by Wanita MCA chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun expressing distaste at the suggestion by PAS Kelantan EXCO Wan Zubaidah Omar that Muslim men marry single mothers

Wanita MCA is astonished at the chauvinistic proposal by PAS Kelantan Executive Councillor Wan Ubaidah Omar that Muslim men should “increase (their) quota” by marrying single mothers with young children and that lawmakers should be rewarded for doing so. Adding insult to injury is that such a statement was encouraged by a female which reflects an outdated mindset that is not at all progressive for women. If a man, especially a lawmaker is indeed sincere in helping a needy single mother, he will not expect any form of reward from the government through a polygamous marriage.

There are no guarantees that a married man entering matrimony with a second or third or fourth wife does so with the altruistic intention of looking after the welfare of her children. Legitimizing a polygamous marriage may be used as a façade justification but may inadvertently lead to the first marriage falling apart. Wan Ubaidah’s proposal does not solve problems, but creates new maladies. She should not treat helping single mother as a done deal, i.e conveniently acquiring another wife.

Furthermore, it does not matter what age the single mothers or children are. So long as they are deserving of any form of aid irrespective if the single mother has young or adolescent children, the government should assist them.

There are better ways to help needy single mothers. For example, Wan Ubaidah should have used her state government position as Kelantan’s Women, Family and Health committee chairman to come up with programmes like micro-credit loans or skills training for single mothers to help them be financially independent. She could also propose that the state government adopt families of needy single mothers by providing financial help and education needs provided that these families have met the criteria to qualify for such government aid.

文告 - 马华妇女组全国主席,拿汀巴杜卡周美芬


马华妇女组表示该项建议不但匪夷所思,而且还是出自一位女性州议员感到极致荒唐。这是对我国女性在争取性别平等的努力上的一项打击, 再者, 如果男人或决策者真心诚意想协助单亲妈妈的话,他们是不会期待政府给予奖赏或有关的单亲妈妈给予回报或以身相许的。


另外,马华妇女组也强调不管该州的单亲妈妈处于什么样的年龄及不管是否拥有孩子在身边,政府都必须一视同仁的给与他们协助。我们认为除了以上匪夷所思的办法以外, 该州还有更好的方法来协助他们。例如,身为该州妇女,家庭及卫生委员会主席的旺烏拜達,应该通过州政府拨出更多的资源来协助单亲妈妈,尤其是成立微型贷款来协助他们从商或主办技能训练课程来加强她们在社会上的竟争能力,好让她们日后能自力更生。她也可以建议州政府协助该州所有符合政府援助条件的单亲妈妈及他们的家庭成员,适当给与他们金钱及技能上的援助,让他们能抬起头做人, 迎向美好的未来。

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