Women’s rights groups all for law against discrimination

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Women’s rights groups are all for legislation against gender discrimination, especially as Malaysia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw).

Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group president Winnie Yee said a Malaysian law is needed so that the provisions under Cedaw could be made available to citizens as a domestic law.

Yee said the proposed Gender Equality Act is one way for the nation to fulfil its obligations as a Cedaw signatory.

“Once we sign (Cedaw), it means that we agree to gender equality and justice, and there should not be any reluctance by lawmakers to pass it,” she said.

She added that the Act would enable women to be on a level playing field with men. Read more

Appeal to advance women’s rights in Malaysia — Suhakam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

MARCH 7 — On International Women’s Day 2018, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) would like to reiterate that the government take concrete steps to advance fully women’s rights in Malaysia and to treat gender mainstreaming as a matter of national priority, which the government delegation indicated is not the situation during Malaysia’s recent review by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw), despite gender equality being a key component of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Although considerable progress has been made in improving the situation of women in Malaysia, developments have been uneven, and there have also been many setbacks. Making matters worse was Malaysia’s poor performance during the review by the committee composed of 23 experts, including Muslim experts on women’s issues.

Malaysia faced a barrage of challenging questions which it failed to adequately address, and this in Suhakam’s view is an indication that Malaysia is clearly out of step with internationally accepted norms in regard to women’s rights and non-discrimination. Read more

Doing right by women – Zainah Anwar

Source: The Star Online

By Zainah Anwar

THE gasps were audible. The cringing moments were painful. The visible displays of shock, disbelief and exasperation were worthy of Academy Awards.

Whether you looked to the front, back, left or right, it was clear that everyone, from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) Committee experts to the civil society activists and national human rights institution commissioners from different countries, was stunned by the Malaysian performance in Geneva.

And #CedawMalaysia was the second highest trending topic on Feb 20. Read more

Malaysia’s Cedaw review: Stem the regression of women’s rights — Comango

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY COMANGO

FEB 26 — The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (Comango) congratulates the government of Malaysia for participating in its second constructive dialogue with the Cedaw Committee at its 69th session in Geneva, Switzerland.

However, the government of Malaysia is yet to reply to some key questions and critical concerns raised by the Cedaw Committee. Comango echoes these concerns and urges the government to step up its commitment to stem the regression of women’s rights in Malaysia. Much more concerted efforts need to be done in order to promote and protect women’s rights and gender equality.

The Cedaw Committee was dismayed that overall, women’s human rights — especially those of Muslim women — has regressed. Malaysia has also maintained their reservations on Articles 9(2) (women and men should have equal rights with regard to the nationality of their children), and Articles 16 (1) (a) (c) (f) and (g) (rights of women on marriage, divorce and over their children). Read more

NGOs: Putrajaya left UN women’s rights committee with more questions than answers

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Activists and NGO reps watch Malaysia’s presentation in Geneva on its achievements as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, in Petaling Jaya February 20, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, Feb 22 — The lack of political will is to blame for the country’s 12-year lag in women’s rights progress, said a coalition of 37 civil societies after what it deemed a dismal showing by Putrajaya in a review in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday.

The coalition had congratulated the government for facing the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) committee, but were disappointed over the delegation’s vague answers on many key human rights issues.

“Malaysia’s twelve-year delay in submitting its report to the Cedaw Committee reflects a lack of political will, which remains the great stumbling block in advancing gender equality in the country,” it said in a statement.

“The coalition regrets that the review session left the committee with more questions than answers … We strongly believe that this is evidence of the lack of political will when it comes to making meaningful steps towards gender equality in Malaysia,” it added. Read more

At UN women’s rights review, Putrajaya claims LGBT treated ‘equally’ in Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The committee also expressed concern over protection of LGBT students in schools, especially against rape, stalking, harassment, and intimidation, since Malaysia does not recognise their existence. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Putrajaya representatives claimed yesterday that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is being treated “equally”, when queried by a United Nations (UN) committee on women’s rights in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) committee in its 39th session had asked the Malaysian delegate about how its laws can protect the LGBT when it is criminalised, and many resources are spent on anti-LGBT measures.

The committee was also concerned about attacks on women’s and LGBT human rights defenders.

“The LGBT are treated equally as per other genders, and we are open to dialogue and suggestions,” replied Datuk Suriani Ahmad, the secretary-general of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, who leads Malaysia’s 24-member delegation.

The dialogue was broadcasted live through internet streaming on UN’s website. Read more

Muslim women enjoy fewer rights than non-Muslims here, UN committee told in Geneva

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam and Musawah noted that there is no progress towards implementing reform of Islamic family laws since 1995. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — A coalition of 37 civil societies and global movement Musawah has reported a lack of urgency in Putrajaya when it comes to women’s rights, while both Muslims and non-Muslims have suffered from Islamisation.

Representatives of the group orally delivered a statement at the 69th session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday evening.

Malaysia’s progress in women’s rights will be reviewed by the United Nations CEDAW committee only for the second time today, despite acceding to CEDAW in 1995. The last review was 12 years ago for its 2004 report.

Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam and Musawah noted that there is no progress towards implementing reform of Islamic family laws since 1995, and Islamic family law has regressed even as civil law reform has resulted in more rights for non-Muslim women.

“Muslim women now enjoy far less [sic] rights in marriage, divorce, guardianship of their children and inheritance than their non-Muslim counterparts,” the coalition said. Read more

Integrate Cedaw at all levels — Women’s NGO Coalition

Source: The Star

By Women’s NGO Coalition

AFTER a delay of almost 10 years and continuous lobbying by various women’s groups, Malaysia is finally undergoing its second review under the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) on Feb 20 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The government of Malaysia will be sending a 24-member delegation to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Cedaw Committee, which will be evaluating the country’s progress in implementing its obligations to uphold and promote women’s human rights.

Read more

Women have right to model, groups say after Shell standees removed

Source: MalayMailOnline

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Women have the right to promote products and to appear in advertisements, women’s rights groups said after Shell removed standees of a female employee that were “molested” by men.

The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (Arrow) highlighted Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution that prohibits gender discrimination in relation to property and employment.

“All women also have the right to appear in advertisements and promotional materials in line with doing their job,” Arrow executive director Sivananthi Thevindran told Malay Mail Online yesterday when contacted.  Read more