KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) says there is nothing to stop a woman from becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The former prime minister said the Federal Constitution did not bar women from holding the position, but majority support was essential in a democratic country.
"If a woman can win majority support, I am sure the party will elect her as the president and the president can then become Prime Minister," he said during a question-and-answer session after delivering a keynote address on Women Leading the Future at the close of the Women Extraordinaire Forum 2014 yesterday.
Earlier, he said that more women were likely to take on leadership roles in future, considering that they now made up 70 per cent of the university students. A woman (Dilma Rousseff) being re-elected as Brazil's president was an indication of the future women leadership of the world, he said.
Dr Mahathir said that women in Malaysia had made much headway.
Although it was a Muslim majority country, Malaysia was more liberal about women's participation in the workforce because the 30 million population was too small to do without their services.
He also said that women generally seemed to have more integrity than men and some jobs that dealt with corruption should be given to them.
Dr Mahathir also expressed concern over the low percentage of men in universities, saying women would have difficulty finding husbands with similar qualifications.
"I would like to see the men taking their role seriously. They should be as well educated as the women," he said.
Dr Mahathir said there was a growing trend of women becoming the breadwinner and men confined to the kitchen.
"Men are getting less and less educated," he said to a roar of laughter.