Whither Malaysia’s #MeToo movement? — Boo Su-Lyn

Source: Malay Mail Online

BY BOO SU LYN

JANUARY 19 ― While the #MeToo movement has brought down powerful American men in Hollywood, politics, and the media, the clarion call against sexual harassment is strangely silent in Malaysia.

#MeToo (or “wo ye shi” [#我也是]) has also failed to take off in China, although a former doctoral student’s sexual assault allegations against a leading computer scientist, who allegedly attacked at least seven other students, have gone viral and led to the professor’s suspension from Beihang University in Beijing.

Actresses in Bollywood and other Indian film industries have also spoken out against sexual harassment that is considered an open secret in Indian cinema.

Malaysian women, however, have yet to widely embrace the #MeToo movement, though several did use the hashtag when it came out several days after allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein broke last October.

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Stop the blame, shame the predator! — Syerleena Abdul Rashid

Source: Malay Mail Online

BY SYERLEENA ABDUL RASHID

JANUARY 17 — In recent months, stories of sexual harassment have surfaced and highlight the extent of abusive behaviour made towards women. Men in media and now, in government, have been exposed of their inappropriate behaviour, therefore, the onus is on us to rightly remove them from their positions and publically shame them for their vulgarities.

There have been too many disturbing stories of threatening mannerisms and insulting attitudes towards female elected officials, journalists, activists and athletes. Too many reports have been ignored and swept under the rug; and the lackadaisical attitudes we are forced to deal with will only worsen the situation, therefore, the foulness of sexual harassment must be addressed sufficiently, diligently and promptly.

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The quest for gender equality — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

AT the 2018 Golden Globes Award on Jan 7, Oprah Winfrey, the respected American media personality, delivered a stirring call for “a new day” on the horizon for American women. Her speech made me reflect on the faltering quest for gender equality in our own constitutional democracy.

At the outset, it needs to be acknowledged that the ideal of sex equality is so complex and contradictory that everywhere it is buffeted by currents and cross-currents.

On the positive side, Malaysia has plenty of institutions, laws, principles and policies to secure justice for women.

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NUJ slammed over remedy to ‘predatory politicians’

Source: Written by Michael Murty for Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A women’s empowerment group has taken the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to task for saying that female journalists’ dress preference is one of the reasons they become victims of sexual harassment from politicians.

The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said NUJ’s response was disappointing as it blamed the victim instead of condemning the crime of sexual harassment.

“NUJ should respect what their women members are saying and recognise that it is both endemic and dangerous.

“What is needed is a strong response to protect and support survivors of harassment, otherwise it will continue to be tolerated and regularised in the field,” said WAO executive director Sumitra Visvanathan.

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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

Ending Gender-based Violence

ENDING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
(A forum discussing hate crime & violence towards trans and gender diverse persons)
At least 12 cases of murder of trans women have been reported in the media between 2007 and 2017. In 2017 alone, 3 cases of murder of trans women have been reported.

Between 2011 – 2017, the media has reported a number of cases of hate crime towards trans women from the attacks by gangsters in Pahang in 2011, physical attacks experienced by Nisha Ayub, and the stabbing of a Thai trans women in Penang. However, these are just reported cases. Many more cases are misreported or are unreported altogether.

In light of these continuing trend of violence, how do we create an environment that is safe and affirming of everyone? Join our panel for a discussion on gender-based violence and the increased vulnerabilities faced by diverse groups based on gender.