A Comparative Study in Five Southeast Asian Countries: Cambodia,
Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste:
There were at least two main reasons why a study into women’s representativeness in the parliaments
in five Southeast Asian Countries needed to be done. On one hand, the female population in this region
was not much different from the male counterpart. On the other hand, gender equality has yet to be
achieved either culturally or structurally. This raised a question: to what extent were women represented
in the political representation systems in this region? Secondly, research had apparently never been done
to observe the relevance of women’s representativeness to electoral systems adopted in this region. For
this reason, this research is trying to answer the following four groups of questions.
Firstly, why is women’s representativeness in the parliament crucial? From what perspective is it
considered crucial? To whom is it crucial? Secondly, to what extent are women represented in the
parliaments in the selected five Southeast Asian countries? Thirdly, what are the factors that affect
women’s representativeness in the parliament? Fourthly, why and how does an electoral system increase
women’s representativeness in the parliament? There are four absolute and two optional elements that
shape an electoral system. Concretely, which of the six elements shaping an electoral system that can
increase the share of female parliamentarians?