Investigate journos’ sexual harassment claims, says Zuraida

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin today urged the police to investigate claims by two female journalists that they had been sexually harassed by politicians, saying the allegations involve abuse of power and breach of trust.

She was referring to a report by the Asian Correspondent yesterday which highlighted the accounts of women journalists who said they had experienced unwanted sexual advances from the male politicians they were assigned to interview.

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Planting seeds of hope for elderly, homeless transgenders

Source: Written by Low Han Shaun for The Malaysian Insight

People at The Seed Transgender Home for the elderly

The Seed Transgender Home for the elderly, the first of its kind in Malaysia, can house a maximum of 10 people. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, January 15, 2018.

FROM the time she discovered she was “different” at the age of 17, transgender Alice (not her real name) was prepared for a life alone, and was intent on ensuring she would be financially independent.

However, after working as a chef for 30 years, Alice finds herself today penniless, riddled with sickness and homeless at 50, after she was thrown out of her family home last year.

“I am 50 years old now, I have hepatitis C, heart problems and kidney problems from an accident that I had in 1996,” she said.

“My mother died last year, and my father died when I was 15,” she said, adding that after her mother’s death, her brother sold the family home, forcing her to become homeless.

Alice slept on the streets of Kuala Lumpur for a year before she found out about Seed Transgender Home for the elderly, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

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Not unusual for Muslim women to lead, says Marina

Source: FMT News

Rights activist says Islam's history is filled with women leaders, but nowadays some people make an issue out of it. Pic taken from FMT News.

Rights activist says Islam’s history is filled with women leaders, but nowadays some people make an issue out of it. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Prominent rights activist Marina Mahathir has lamented that some women buy into the idea that they have to accept a lesser role than males.

In a live interview with the National Human Rights Society (Hakam), streamed on Facebook, Marina said many conservative Muslims believed that women could not become leaders, and this was primarily due to her biological functions.

“Some say a woman cannot become a menteri besar (MB) because she cannot accompany the Sultan for religious functions when she is menstruating.”

However, Marina pointed out that the primary role of a menteri besar was to administer the state, thus a woman’s biological functions should not be used as an excuse to deny her appointment as a person of authority.

It is believed Marina was referring to the objections by some against the appointment of PKR President Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor menteri besar in 2014, during the state’s MB crisis.

Eventually, PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali was appointed menteri besar.

Marina said Islam’s history was filled with female leaders, such as Prophet Muhammad’s first wife Khadija, who was a successful businesswoman during her time, as well as the Prophet’s youngest wife, Aisha, who was regarded as a leader in the community.

“It is not unusual for Muslim women to lead, but nowadays we seem to be making an issue out of it.”

She also spoke on the issue of gender inequality in Malaysia, explaining that it was not an issue limited to the Muslim community. Read more

She is a he – even on paper

Source: The Star Online

A new chapter: Transgender activists celebrating outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Nov 7, 2014, when three Malaysian transgender women won a landmark bid to overturn an Islamic anti-crossdressing law. — AFP

A new chapter: Transgender activists celebrating outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Nov 7, 2014, when three Malaysian transgender women won a landmark bid to overturn an Islamic anti-crossdressing law. — AFP

REMEMBER that time your parents made you wear a shirt or dress to a function and you were uncomfortable the entire time – maybe it was scratchy or it was the wrong size or it was out of fashion.

Whatever it was, when you came home, you peeled that “outer skin” off.

Now, imagine living inside a female body 24/7 when you feel like a male or vice versa and not being able to peel your skin off.

Science has advanced so much one can reassign one’s gender surgically but the Legislature and Courts in many countries still refuse to let a person who has had a sex-change change his/her name/sex on a piece of paper if his/her chromosome was the same as at birth.

The High Courts in Malaysia have been unsettled on whether to recognise gender reassignment on an applicant’s birth certificate or MyKad the last 15 years, there are more decisions “against” than “for”.

In 2013, the Court of Appeal’s decision re Kristie Chan ruled in favour of “against” and it seemed to settle the law.

However, XYZ , who was represented by counsel William Lim and Muhammad Izzat Md Jonid, had a stab at it and on July 18, the Kuala Lumpur High Court scored one for the trans community.

XYZ, who was born a female, obtained a declaration that he was now a man. Read more

Migration Works Campaign & Symposia 5 Combined Event

Dear friends and customers,

This Saturday, 5 March, is going to be busy! We hope you’ll be able to make it along to one of our events. Here they are, in order of occurrence …

Symposia 5 flyer

Migration Works
Workshop 1:30-2:30pm, Rumah Gerakbudaya

Migration Works is a campaign to promote positive attitude and behavioural change towards migrants in Malaysia. The Campaign is organised by Public Media Agency (PMA) in partnership with International Labor Organization (ILO). The campaign aim to promote a more positive image of migrants (with emphasis on women migrants workers) that corresponds to their actual contribution and evidence based advocacy against stereotyping for perception change.

followed by …

Symposia 5: Defending Women, Defending Borders?
Gender and the Migrant Worker Experience

2:30pm

Speakers:

Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter, University of Queensland
Liva Sreedharan, Program Officer at Tenaganita
Asha Dhillon, Head of the Outreach Protection and Intervention Unit of UNHCR
Kumeraintharen Murugiah, Migration Works Campaign Coordinator
For the next Symposia event we are looking to investigate the intersection between experiences of migration and experiences of gender in contemporary Malaysia.If the experience of migration is hugely differential between categories such as expats, refugees, foreign workers and undocumented migrants, these categories are also intersected by gendered differences which ensure vastly different experiences of migration and whilst the experiences of many male migrants are often better understood, the problems faced by women, trans and other gender identities are less understood and identified.

The labour of female migrant workers is often in the form of domestic labour or emotional labour, and thus often outside of the formal sphere of work. This opens women up to different forms of abuse and exploitation, such as sexual abuse, physical and emotional violence, confinement and the withholding of wages. This is especially heightened by the isolation implied by domestic work and the fact that domestic work isn’t sufficiently covered by labour law.

Migrant women are also exposed to forms of sexual exploitation and discrimination, both by the agents who traffic them into Malaysia and by the immigration officials who target them for deportation or sexual favours. Additionally, the needs of women for specialized healthcare can often be denied or act as a source of discrimination, as evidenced by the treatment of Nirmala Thapa, the Nepalese migrant who became the first woman in Malaysia to be charged with procuring an illegal abortion.

Equally migration often intersects with particularly gendered narratives of nationhood and nationality. With the recent announcement of a deal to allow a further 1.5m Bangladeshi workers to work in Malaysia, a whole series of articles have emerged linking the arrival of Bangladeshi migrants to threats of rape against the female Malaysian body. Whilst men such as Papagomo have recently justified the beating of a migrant worker by stating it to be in defence of women in his family. Similarly in Europe a recent article in a Polish news magazine depicts the rape of Europe (a white woman draped in the European flag) by dark-skinned migrants.

During this Symposia event we’ll therefore be interested to investigate the gendered dimensions of migration, and particularly the ways in which female, male and trans migrants are imagined in different ways and exploited and discriminated against in different ways. We hope then to discuss the ways in which we could approach migration which will challenge such gendered differences.

 

Venue: Rumah Gerakbudaya, No 2, Jalan Bukit 11/2, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Admission: Free

Please call 03-79578342 or email publications@gerakbudaya.com if you have any queries.

Adenan says he will change law for women to be on par with men

Source: The Star Online

KUCHING: A week to International Women’s Day, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem has made known again his support and commitment to gender equality.

Addressing a Wanita Barisan Nasional dinner here on Monday, he urged them to give him examples of gender inequality.

“And I will have the law changed. Women should be on par with men,” he said to applause.

“Women must speak up for their rights because most men aren’t going to do it. Men and women are obviously not the same but everyone deserves equal treatment,” he said. Read more

Gender sensitisation training needed, lawyer says after woman’s RM300,000 court win reduced

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Honey Tan (pic), co-counsel for Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin, said that there are no legal requirements in Malaysia to disclose pregnancy and that it is also not illegal to ask job candidates if they are pregnant. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Honey Tan (pic), co-counsel for Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin, said that there are no legal requirements in Malaysia to disclose pregnancy and that it is also not illegal to ask job candidates if they are pregnant. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — The Shah Alam High Court decision to slash an award of RM300,000 in damages to RM30,000 for a woman in a landmark gender discrimination lawsuit against the government shows there is need to conduct gender sensitisation training, the woman’s lawyer said.

Honey Tan, co-counsel for Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin, pointed out that when her client’s case was called for decision in 2014, it was Shah Alam High Court deputy registrar Ahmad Rizki Abdul Jalil who decided on the quantum of the award.

The sum of RM300,000, she said, was never suggested during submissions.

“So to say that there was ‘profiteering’ is quite shocking,” Tan told Malay Mail Online.

“It is not the reduction in the amount of damages that is shocking, but the judicial commissioner’s comments and reasons for her decision.

“It shows clearly that training in gender sensitisation, understanding the applicability of international law and standards, knowledge of Cedaw and understanding state obligations in implementing the principles in Cedaw are urgently needed,” the lawyer said, adding that her client would appeal the ruling. 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

Same-sex marriage in Malaysia? Advocates say even basic rights still in short supply

Source: The Malay Mail Online

US has joined a list of 20-odd countries that have legalised same-sex marriage. ― Malay Mail file pic

US has joined a list of 20-odd countries that have legalised same-sex marriage. ― Malay Mail file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 ― With the US last week joining a list of 20-odd countries that have legalised same-sex marriage, the locally taboo subject has again popped up in Malaysia.

But while the developments abroad has prompted discussions about Malaysia following suit, local activists said such talk was premature given the current state of human rights in the country, particularly that of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“Can we even begin to talk about marriage equality when many LGBT in Malaysia are worried about losing their jobs because of who they are, they are worried of being kicked out of their families, they are worried of being bullied at schools because of who they are?” human rights activist Pang Khee Teik said.

“We don’t even have basic rights. We don’t even get the chance to have public conversations about it without being shut down,” the founder of sexuality rights festival Seksualiti Merdeka told Malay Mail Online, also saying that human rights activists need to fight for an equality that is bigger than just marriage. Read more