Gender stereotypes in Malaysian parliamentary debates


Maya Khemlani David


Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Yeok Meng Ngeow


Section for Co-curricular Courses, External Faculty Electives & TITAS, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


This study sets out to examine the level of sensitivity towards gender in political discourse in Parliament in multilingual, multicultural Malaysia. The focus of the study is the choice of lexical words and phrases pertaining to gender stereotypes used by Members of Parliament (MPs) in parliamentary discourse. Out of 219 MPs, 85% of the MPs are men who presumably have adopted patriarchal value systems from conventional families. Given the peripheral and minority status (15%) of female MPs, it is even more important for male MPs to take into consideration the sensitivity of gender stereotypes and sexist language when they engage in debate. However, it was found that female MPs, particularly those representing the opposition party, have to tolerate sexist and derogatory language in parliamentary debate. It is hence the aim of this study to analyze the relevant political discourse to examine the level of sensitivity of the MPs towards gender stereotypes in Parliament. Content analysis based on hansards will be conducted.


gender stereotype; sexist language; parliamentary debate

Publication Date

December 20, 2007


Volume 1, Issue 2

Citation information

David, Maya Khemlani, and Yeok Meng Ngeow. 2007. “Gender stereotypes in Malaysian parliamentary debates.” Language. Text. Society 1 (2): e71-e89. (Journal title at the time of publication: SamaraAltLinguo E-Journal.)


author = {David, Maya Khemlani and Ngeow, Yeok Meng},
title = {{Gender stereotypes in Malaysian parliamentary debates}},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2007},
volume = {1},
number = {2},
pages = {71–89},
url = {},


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