Kelantan Mufti says women’s voice not ‘aurat’, emcee ban perhaps ‘administrative issue’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Women are not barred from speaking up or using the microphone at events as their voice is only considered as a form of “aurat” when performing prayers, Kelantan Mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad has said.

“Aurat” in Malay refers to “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing; exposing these is considered sinful.

Responding to the a recent incident in Kelantan where event host Ameera Aida was stopped from hosting a children’s event by the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB), Shukri said the setback could have been an administrative issue and not a question of fatwa.

“A woman’s voice is only an ‘aurat’ while performing her prayers, but beyond that, women are free to project their voice as long as it does not lead to defamation. Read more

Political parties urged to endorse recently launched Women’s Manifesto

Source: The Star Online

Launching of the Women’s Manifesto on International Women’s Day by Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) with support of non-governmental organisations under the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG). Pic from The Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: Political parties and candidates are urged to endorse the recently launched Women’s Manifesto to champion women’s rights in Malaysia.

The Women’s Manifesto was launched on International Women’s Day by Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) with support of non-governmental organisations under the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

“We hope to see political parties endorsing our Manifesto over the next few weeks, in time for the 14th General Election,” said Empower executive director Angela Kuga Thas at the launch in Gerakbudaya on Thursday.

Angela said that 40 civil society organisations have already endorsed the Women’s Manifesto, and hopes to see more political parties and organisations being added to the list.

The three objectives of the Women’s Manifesto is to have election candidates champion women’s agenda, inform Malaysians on the state of women’s rights, and to demand for change from the government to create a better environment for women’s rights. 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

Yes! SheDecides: Affirming women’s rights to their own body

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Every girl and every woman has the right to choose what she does with her body. Unfortunately millions of girls around the world and in our region are unable to do so. And that is why we need to come together, to stand up and speak out to say, ‘Yes! SheDecides’. Sexual and reproductive rights are integral to individual autonomy, to freely decide on matters of sexuality and reproduction, to have the right to consent and bodily integrity,” — Sivananthi Thanenthiran, Arrow executive director and the SheDecides champion for Asia-Pacific.

A panel of women’s rights activists and global representatives gather at an event to commemorate SheDecides’ first anniversary at Hotel Istana, Kuala Lumpur March 2, 2018. — Picture courtesy of Arrow

KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — A group of stakeholders and global representatives came together today to express their support for SheDecides — a movement that promotes, provides, protects and enhances the fundamental rights of every girl and woman to freely decide about their sexual lives.

The discussion, organised in conjunction with SheDecides’ first anniversary, saw participations of regional non-profit group Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (Arrow) and representatives from Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland, among others.

In a statement, Arrow executive director and the SheDecides champion for Asia-Pacific Sivananthi Thanenthiran said the movement is critical to the region, citing the stigmatisation of abortion as one of the occurences. 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

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

Ilmu Seks: How to get more Malays to talk openly about sex

Source: Malay Mail Online

(From left to right) Shayne Wyatt, Mischa Selamat, Herinza and Mussy Del C pose for a picture after an interview with Malay Mail in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Medical graduate Shayne Wyatt, 24, first had sex a few years ago and it was also when he caught a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

For a month, he was in pain as he visited several general practitioners, even undergoing the uncomfortable procedure of a colonoscopy — an examination where a probe with camera is inserted into the anal cavity.

And yet, he was misdiagnosed as suffering from a haemorrhoid.

Read more

NGOs call for a ‘safe space’ for sexual abuse victims to be heard

Source: The Star

PETALING JAYA: Women’s rights organisations in Malaysia are calling for a “safe space” where women can speak up on sexual violence and harassment.

“In a world of changing cultural values of modern society, women’s rights along with other human rights groups have an important responsibility to stand up in solidarity to create safe spaces for victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment,” said the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) in a statement on Tuesday (Feb 6).

Read more