Improve gender equality, JAG tells Pakatan government

Source: The Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, May 22—The Women and Family Development ministry must focus on human rights and gender equality, instead of merely reinforcing stereotypical associations of women with family, children, and welfare, says Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

In a statement today, the coalition called upon the new Pakatan Harapan government to launch institutional reforms aimed at advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

These reforms, said the coalition, should include strengthening the ministry’s authority to make decisions on women’s advancement.

“Pakatan Harapan must also strengthen and empower government machinery and organisations responding to gender equality issues,” it said.

“This includes providing adequate resources to the Welfare department, One-Stop Crisis Centres, and the Royal Malaysian Police Sexual Crimes Unit.” 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

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

Stop intimidating human rights lawyers — Joint Action Group for Gender Equality

Source: MalayMailOnline

JULY 13 — The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) urges the Attorney General’s Chamber to drop the charge of “obstructing a public servant” against human rights lawyer Siti Kasim. We also call on the Malaysian government to end discriminatory laws, policies, and practices against the transgender community, and further comply with international human rights standards. Read more

JAG: Strip-down interview only part of a larger problem

Source: FMT News

The entire airline industry has long violated women's human rights by 'commodifying' their bodies, says the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. Pic from FMT News.

The entire airline industry has long violated women’s human rights by ‘commodifying’ their bodies, says the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has hit out at Malindo Air for “exploiting and commodifying” women’s bodies, saying it reflects a larger problem in the airline industry itself.

“The way Malindo Air treats potential female flight attendants is discriminatory, perverse and sexist.

“No potential employee of any airline should be subjected to such degrading treatment,” it said in a statement today.

JAG was responding to a recent report in The Malay Mail which said that female flight attendant candidates at Malindo Air’s walk-in interviews were told to strip down to their bras. Read more

‘To marry girl to rapist is to disregard statutory rape law’

Source: FMT News

Society should not underplay the enormity of the crime of statutory rape by allowing or encouraging marriage to the perpetrator, says Joint Action Group for Gender Equality.

Image taken from FMT News

Image taken from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: To say it is in the best interests of an underage girl who is pregnant out of wedlock to marry the person who impregnated her is to disregard the law on statutory rape, says Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG).

Statutory rape in the Penal Code in Malaysia is defined as sexual activity with a girl under the age of 16 as she is unable to understand the nature and consequence of giving consent.

JAG said society should not underplay the enormity of the crime of statutory rape by allowing or encouraging marriage to the perpetrator.

“This is a grave abuse of the law, which was put in place to protect children,” it said in a statement today.

JAG was responding to shariah lawyer Faiz Fadzil, who had in a recent article said it would be best for a minor who had become pregnant as a result of illicit sex to marry, as long as she and the person who impregnated her were agreeable to marriage.

JAG protested that the statement was damaging as it misrepresented the term “consent”, disregarded the law on statutory rape and dismissed the reality of the power imbalance that existed in cases of underage marriage. Read more

JAG Condemns Online Attack and Stands in Solidarity with #WomensMarchKL

Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG)

Press Release

Kuala Lumpur, 14 March 2017

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) stands in solidarity with young women and allies under attack on Twitter as they share comments and contents in conjunction of the Perarakan Hari Wanita (#WomensMarchKL) event in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 11 March 2017. We denounce in the strongest term all forms of malicious, sexist and misogynistic harassment against women and trans women, whether perpetrated online or offline.

The peaceful event was live Tweeted, with photos, and their Tweets were widely shared. The event itself had an energetic turnout with mostly young participants, and the messages they carried, become targets of relentless attacks designed to disempower them.

Among the participants who received the most intense attacks is a teenage girl who carried a placard: “I wish to be the next Prime Minister but I can’t … Do you know why??? (Speech bubble: ‘Mana tudung?’)”. The teenager is reportedly extremely affected by the trolling and insults directed at her. Significant attacks were also targeted against those who carried placards in support of trans women as well as body shaming of at least 1 participant. Read more

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

Never too late to be an activist

Source: FMT News

The first woman to head the KL Bar Committee says she was introduced to activism late in her career. Pic from FMT News.

The first woman to head the KL Bar Committee says she was introduced to activism late in her career. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Goh Siu Lin, who recently became the first woman to head the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee, describes herself as a “late bloomer” in the world of activism.

In an interview with FMT, she said she decided to become an activist only in 2009. By then, she had been practising law for more than 12 years.

The decision came after a flight to Johor Bahru.

“During the flight, I was seated next to an executive committee member of AWL (Association of Women Lawyers). She invited me to become a member.

“Joining AWL was an eye-opener for me. I attended a talk on feminist perspectives of the law, which transformed my thinking and how I viewed my role as a lawyer, a mother and wife.” Read more

Violence worsening, Putrajaya told after death threats against Bersih chief’s sons

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Bersih 2.0’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and her three sons are among those who have received death threats and JAG is calling for the authorities to take action. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng, taken from Malay Mail Online.

Bersih 2.0’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and her three sons are among those who have received death threats and JAG is calling for the authorities to take action. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng, taken from Malay Mail Online.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — The authorities must take a firm stand on the death threats against civil rights activists that have also widened to include their families if it doesn’t want to be seen as tolerating extremism, a human rights coalition said today.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) said it was outraged at the death threats against prominent activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bersih 2.0’s chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and her three sons, and the electoral watchdog’s committee member Mandeep Karpall, stressing the need for impartial action to be taken.

“JAG calls on the Malaysian government, the Royal Malaysian Police Force, and other agencies to do their duty with conscientiousness and impartiality.

“Members of the Cabinet and political leaders from all parties, regardless of ideology, need to unequivocally condemn the violence and death threats,” the coalition said in statement.

According to JAG, the death threats were spread through a chat application in the form of digitally-altered photos, which depicted a black-clad masked man standing and holding a knife to the throats of six kneeling individuals. Read more