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

Transgenders meet mufti to end discrimination against them

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) met Federal Territory mufti Zulkifli Mohammad in an effort to help promote understanding and end discrimination against the transgender community.

Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Malaysia (PKKUM) said the discussion between transgender activists and the Federal Territory Mufti’s Office yesterday had strengthened ties between the transgender community and religious authorities.

The discussion came after Zulkifli expressed interest in helping them.

The founder of PKKUM, Elisha Kor Krishnan, said the meeting discussed the need to encourage interpretation of the Quran and Hadith to create greater awareness among the general populace on transgender issues.

Read more

FT Mufti backs call to revisit edict against transgenders

Source: Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Feb 15 — Religious authorities should revisit a fatwa (edict) declaring transgenderism as un-Islamic, according to Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad al-Bakri who said the phenomenon is not inherently wrong.

In a meeting with Pertubuhan Kesihatan dan Kebajikan Umum Malaysia (PKKUM) founder Elisha Kor Krishnan yesterday, Zulkifli also expressed his intention to work closely to help the group.

Citing Islamic teachings, he said there was a need to distinguish between men who impersonate as women (Mukhannath bi al-takalluf) and those who are born physically male but possess a female gender identity (Mukhannath min Kalqin).

Read more

Why is Malaysia still practising female genital mutilation? — Sivananthi Thanenthiran & Rozana Isa

Source: The Malaysian Insight

BY SIVANATHI THANENTHIRAN & ROZANA ISA

FEMALE genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) threatens about three million girls annually and at least 200 million girls and women have been cut in 30 countries, according to Unicef.

However, activists believe it is practised in at least 45 countries. While FGM/C is often associated with Africa, it is more widespread in Asian countries, including Malaysia.

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously passed a resolution calling it a human rights violation and urged nations to ban the practice and the ban was reaffirmed in 2014. The resolution was adopted by all UN member states, including Malaysia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines FGM as comprising all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Read more

Enough with ‘pondan’ and other media distortions of transgenders — Eric Paulsen

Source: Free Malaysia Today

BY ERIC PAULSEN

In the latest twist to the ongoing Nur Sajat saga, the well-known cosmetic entrepreneur bemoaned the preoccupation of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the public over her gender identity.

“This gender issue… is like the country’s biggest issue,” she wrote in Malay on her Facebook page. She continued: “Should Nur Sajat’s issues really be the topic of conversation in this country? Think about it!”

Despite the public embarrassment, however, Nur Sajat’s story represents an opportunity to start a conversation that has been put off for far too long. Transgender persons in Malaysia are often vilified by means of misrepresentation in the news media.

Read more

Handicapped group denied favourite spot to do business at Batu Caves

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: The Hindu rights body Hindraf has urged Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali to help a group of wheelchair-bound volunteers get back their normal spot opposite the Batu Caves temple main gate to do business.

The group, Independent Living and Training Centre Malaysia, has for the past 12 years used the Thaipusam celebrations to set up stalls there to sell various items to raise funds and publicise their activities.

But this year, for some reason, the Selayang Municipal Council has decided to relocate them further away from the entrance, making it difficult for the handicapped volunteers to move about.

Read more

Ministry says found 13 hotels banning staff from wearing ‘tudung’

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27 — The proposed amendment to the Employment Act 1955 to address discrimination in workplaces following the issue of the ban on ‘tudung’ (hijab or headscarf) in the hotel industry is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting from March 5 to April 5.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem said the ministry was pursuing a tripartite discussion involving employers, employees and the government to refine the proposed amendments.

Read more

Putrajaya to outlaw ‘any’ form of workplace discrimination

Source: Malay Mail Online

Women working in an office

Female employees are seen working in an office in Putrajaya. — Reuters pic via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The proposed amendment to the Employment Act 1955 prohibits all forms of discrimination at work, the Human Resources Ministry said.

Under the proposed amendment, the Labour director-general may inquire into an employee’s complaint of facing discriminatory treatment from his or her employer in relation to the terms and conditions of employment and issue the employer directives to resolve the matter.

Read more

Sportswear retailer sacks supervisor for barring Muslims from prayer

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — JD Sports Malaysia said a Pavilion outlet supervisor acted wrongly in barring Muslim employees from prayers and has been fired.

In a message posted on Instagram, the sportswear retailer insisted that the incident was isolated and not part of a larger company guideline.

Read more

MAC, Terengganu govt discuss plight of transgender community

Source: The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) held a meeting with the Terengganu state government to discuss the plight of transgender community.

In a statement, MAC deputy secretary-general Elisha Kor Krishnan said a meeting with state executive councillor Ghazali Taib on Monday (Jan 15) was refreshing as they were able to push issues concerning the community.

Read more