From stalking to body-shaming: How some Malaysian women are silenced online

Source: Malay Mail Online

AFP pic

A United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission report in 2015 highlighted that 73 per cent of women and girls have been exposed or have experienced some form of online violence. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 ― When it comes to online bullying and harassment, the viciousness cares not what a Malaysian woman’s ethnicity, religion, political affiliations or even sexuality may be.

A report titled “Voice, Visibility and a Variety of Viciousness” to be launched by women’s human rights group Empower Malaysia today has revealed the tactics used by parts of Malaysian society to harass women into silence online ― sometimes through bandwagoning, and at other times, with sinister intent to cause harm.

The qualitative study involving 15 women found that in most cases, bullying and harassment often started with an individual or group of main antagonists who generate offending data or image, which was then amplified by secondary perpetrators by retweeting, downloading, forwarding, liking, and sharing the contents.

The study also found that while most respondents were harassed by individuals who acted of their own accord, some were aware they were victims of coordinated campaigns, with one target believing her harassers were being paid to do so. Read more

Law enforcers downplay reports of online violence against women, report shows

Source: The Malay Mail Online

In their report, the groups said cases of online violence against women are pervasive here and happen in many forms from private messaging to public platforms. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — A recent report by local civil society groups to the United Nations (UN) revealed that law enforcers not only make light of online violence against women (VAW) as reported by victims, but also treat these incidents as “normal.”

The report explained that various laws already exist to deal with such cases, but law enforcers are often ignorant about them and fail to understand that online VAW can be as harmful as physical cases.

“Anecdotal cases have shown that where women did report instances of online VAW, their experiences are often trivialised and normalised. The failure of the police officer to recognise online threats and harassment as VAW or even as crimes under the domestic laws, affects women’s access to justice in a systematic way.

“Responses by police officers were either dismissive or condescending. Oftentimes the police would tell the victim that there is nothing they could do as it is a ‘private affair’ or that the victim should just delete his/her account,” read the joint submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on VAW.

The report was compiled by Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER), Bersih 2.0, Justice for Sisters, Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, National Council of Women’s Organisations, Malaysia, and Women’s Aid Organisation. Read more

Violence against women in politics — Lim Su Lin

Source: The Malay Mail Online



NOVEMBER 22 — There was no question that the remarks directed by Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to Member of Parliament (MP) for Seputeh, Teresa Kok, in parliament on November 21 were meant to be crude and sexist.

The recording of his full spoken sentence is as follows: “MP Seputeh ni keh-keh-keh pasal apa? (What is the Seputeh MP giggling about?) The only woman with a ‘Kok’ is in Seputeh.” The recording further shows him raising his eyebrows and grinning as he utters this sentence. [1]

The Deputy Speaker, Datuk Dr Ronald Kiandee, who was the presiding speaker at that time, could have used this opportune time to reprimand the Deputy Minister for making those sexist remarks and to ask him to withdraw (or “tarik balik”) the offensive and sexist phrase in question. Instead, the Deputy Speaker gave the Deputy Minister a pass and defended him by saying that he was only referring to Teresa Kok’s surname.

The Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, had another opportunity to rectify this situation when Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan, Kasturi Patto, asked him to rule on her motion to refer the Deputy Minister to the Parliament Privileges Committee for disciplinary action over his sexist remarks. Instead, the Speaker defended the previous ruling of his Deputy and no action was taken against the Deputy Minister.[2] Read more

Sarawak CM announces RM2m fund for abused wives

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUCHING, Nov 5 ― Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today announced an RM2 million fund for battered women to file for divorce from their abusive husbands.

“The fund is for the women to go to the lawyers to seek justice from the court against their (abusive) husbands,” he said at the launch of the state level Women’s Day celebration at the Indoor Stadium here today.

He said the fund will help women to divorce their abusive husbands and seek maintenance for themselves and their children.

“The time has come for us to put a stop to men abusing their wives,” Adenan said, adding that he would increase the amount of the fund if it was not enough.

He noted that there have been growing cases of domestic violence against women in Sarawak over the past years.

“I am very concerned about the increasing cases of abuses against women,” he said. Read more

Conversations – Violence against Women: Advocating for Legal Reform

Join the New Tactics community for an online conversation onViolence against Women: Advocating for Legal Reform from September 26th – 30th, 2016.

Across the world, women are abused, trafficked, raped and killed. Violence against women is a grave violation of human rights, negatively affecting women’s well-being and precluding women from fully participating in society. It not only leads to severe physical, sexual and mental consequences to each individual victim, but tears their families, community and society apart.

In Guatemala, two women are murdered, each day. In India, as many as 22 women are killed daily for dowry. In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, between 40 and 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their intimate partners. 120 million girls worldwide have experienced forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. According to 2016 estimates published on the United Nations’ International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, at least 200 million women and girls have been subjected to female genital mutilation. Women and girls account for about 70 per cent of trafficking victims. Many victims suffer in silence for fear of losing the economic support of the male perpetrator or fear of victim blaming and even when a victim reports to law enforcement agents, the issue is often trivialized.

Although decades of women’s movements have made unprecedented progress towards ending gender-based violence, according to UNIFEM (formerly the UN agency for gender equity, now UN Women), chasms in legal frameworks remain: states fail their international obligations and commitments to prevent violence against women; many perpetrators escape from being held accountable; and women continue to be re-victimized through the legal process. Legal reform could provide effective protections. Such reform must make legislation easy to be enforced, monitored and adequately allocate resources to address the problem. Governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations and other institutions should partner in this process of adopting and enacting legal reforms.

In this conversation, we seek to discuss tactics for developing effective legal reform to prevent violence against women, monitoring and enforcing laws, and building advocacy for legal reform.  Join us for this important discussion!

Conversation Leaders


Grecia's picture
Shelly Carlson's pictureShelly Carlson
Global Rights for Women
CherylThomas's picture
IVY JOSIAH's picture
Ivy Josiah
Women’s Aid Organisation
ARROW's picture
ARROW (The Asian-Pacific
Resource and Research
Centre for Women)
Amy Lauricella's picture
Jacqui Hunt's picture
CherylThomas's picture
 Christine's picture


Sexual violence won’t end until states plug ‘gaping’ legal hole, says expert

Source: The Guardian

Former UN special rapporteur on violence against women calls for binding international treaty to hold governments to account and lend resolutions bite

 Former UN special rapporteur Rashida Manjoo believes efforts to end violence against women should focus on state accountability. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

Former UN special rapporteur Rashida Manjoo believes efforts to end violence against women should focus on state accountability. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

A “gaping hole” in international law is allowing governments to ignore their commitments to end gender-based violence, according to the former UN special rapporteur on the causes and consequences of violence against women.

Rashida Manjoo said states are not held fully accountable for ending violence because there is not an international treaty compelling them to do so. Manjoo called for a binding framework within the UN systemto tackle what she called a pervasive human rights violation.

A professor in the department of public law at the University of Cape Town in her native South Africa, Manjoo was appointed special rapporteur in 2009. Her tenure ended in July, and her parting shot was a report to the UN Human Rights Council that reiterated the case for establishing a legal instrument to hold governments accountable at international level. In October last year, she told the UN general assembly that the lack of a legally binding agreement was a major obstacle in achieving gender equality.

“UN entities continue to pass resolutions, but they are not legally binding … we talk about the universality of human rights, when there’s a gaping hole. We need to focus on state accountability,” she told an event on ending violence against women in London last week, hosted by the Guardian and ActionAid. Read more

Launch of WAO Report & Art Installation on Domestic Violence

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) is pleased to host an event to launch two of our initiatives:

  1. Annual report on domestic violence, entitled: “Working Together: Case Studies in Domestic Violence Response, 2015 Report”
  2. Ceramic art installation: “Can You Keep a Secret?”

The event will be officiated by Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, YB Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim. Read more

KAPOW! Fighting Violence Against Women in Pop Culture

An event under the Cooler Lumpur Festival 2015

An event under the Cooler Lumpur Festival 2015

In December 2014, Ram Devineni made news as one of the creators of the comic book Priya’s Shakti. Inspired by Hindu mythological tales, it tells the story of Priya, a young woman and gang-rape survivor, and Goddess Parvati as they fight against gender crimes in India. In this session, Ram will present his TED talk on Priya’s Shakti. We will also talk to him about the origins of the comic book as well as his journey in crafting an authentic story that serves to both entertain and affect social change.

Moderator: Ivy Josiah