Protest is not new to civil society in Malaysia — Ivy Josiah

Source: The Star2

BY IVY JOSIAH
(HAKAM EXCO Member)

Led by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, women and men from various non-governmental organisations and political parties gathered in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday to protest against the sexist remarks made by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof against Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan. They called for the suspension of both MPs and demanded they apologise for offending all women. The protestors include those from Parti Sosialis Malaysia, representatives from the womens wing of MCA, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Womens Aid Organisation, Sisters In Islam and Women Development Collective. Photo: The Star

Led by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, women and men from various non-governmental organisations and political parties gathered in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday to protest against the sexist remarks made by Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof against Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan. They called for the suspension of both MPs and demanded they apologise for offending all women. The protestors include those from Parti Sosialis Malaysia, representatives from the womens wing of MCA, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Womens Aid Organisation, Sisters In Islam and Women Development Collective. Photo: The Star

It was Malcom X who said “So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.”

Last week, women did just that to mark International Women’s Day (IWD), a Global Women’s Strike in 46 countries; ranging from stopping work or housework to withdrawing sex to organising demonstrations, pickets and marches.

The Global Women’s Strike was organised by the International Women’s Strike (IWS), a grassroots movement established in late 2016 by women from different parts of the world as a response to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by women at various levels. One in three women experience physical or sexual violence; we should not accept this statistic as the inevitable.

In the words of the Australia Women on Strike, “As aware citizens, we, the women, know the world is going through a crisis phase, but we don’t accept being victims of it. Take care, governing powers in our countries: be mature and address the problems of the world in direct, peaceful ways, with no harm to us.”

It is no coincidence that the herstory of IWD itself is rooted in a march by women workers in New York who took to the streets in 1908 demanding voting rights and protesting against dangerous working conditions, child labour and low wages.

So, what has been the Malaysian women’s experience with protest?

Feminist historians pay homage to the women participating in Malaya’s anti-colonial movement in the 1940s. Women in the Angkatan Wanita Sedar (Conscious Women’s Front) and Kaum Ibu Umno stood with men making fiery speeches during demonstrations against colonial rule. Protest is not new to civil society in Malaysia.

Activists resort to protest when other advocacy strategies fail, or to further throw light on an issue. Read more

Recognise stalking as domestic violence – Yu Ren Chung

Source: The Malay Mail Online 

BY: YU REN CHUNG

FEBRUARY 22 — After years of abuse, Nina left her husband. Yet she was not safe.

Wherever she moved, her husband would look her. One time, Nina noticed men taking pictures of her children at her house.

She was being stalked.

Worried, she lodged a police report, but she was not given protection. Soon after, while leaving work, Nina was attacked by two men — acquaintances of her ex-husband. They slashed her with a machete, scarring her cheek and cutting-off her thumb.

If Nina received protection after she had been stalked, her gruesome attack may have been prevented.

Unfortunately for Nina, and thousands of Malaysians like her, stalking is not a crime in Malaysia. Read more

Closing the gaps in the law — Joint Action Group for Gender Equality

Source: The Malay Mail Online

AUG 26 — On Hari Wanita, the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) urges the Malaysian government to close the gaps in our domestic laws that obstruct the elimination of violence against women and girls and the achievement of gender equality in our country, which remain yet unrealized goals.

Even after years of civil society expending critical resources in educating and engaging with policymakers, words have not materialised into concrete actions, and women and girls are still regularly subjected to violence and discrimination, with limited recourse in the law. It is time for all MPs to demonstrate their commitment to eliminating the gender gap and bringing about equality in our society by supporting the law reform initiatives that JAG has been lobbying for consistently over the past decade. Read more

Women are not things – Yasmin Bathamanathan

Source: The Malaysian Insider

BY YASMIN BATHAMANATHAN

We are in the midst of observing the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign to work towards the elimination of violence against women and girls, but it sure does not look like it.

Since the start of the campaign on November 25, we have had our international trade and industry minister make a sexist joke comparing women to buildings at a public dialogue; and the news of the police arresting a man who forced this 14-year-old wife to film him raping her 11-year-old sister. The video was circulated on WhatsApp and found its way to the girls’ father.

Then there is the circus that is Mohammed Rizalman Ismail. A military attache at the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand, Rizalman has made the headlines these past few days for all the wrong reasons.

From stalking a woman just because she smiled at him to defecating in front of her house and entering her house without wearing pants or even underwear, Rizalman has given the world a look at how VAW is done, Malaysian style. Read more