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.
Source: The Star
BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI
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.
Source: Malay Mail Online
Association of Women Lawyers committee member Meera Samantheer (pictured) said sexual harassment has nothing to do with a woman’s dressing. — File picture by Choo Choy May via Malay Mail Online
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Media groups urged newsrooms today to enact policies to protect women journalists from sexual harassment in the office and on the field, amid allegations of politicians groping reporters.
The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJM) said media organisations must adopt complaint mechanisms to ensure action is taken in cases of journalists facing sexual harassment from politicians or other public figures.
“Having such strong standards and policies will not only protect female journalists, but would also be useful in stopping those that harass journalists in other ways, including blackmail or bribery,” IoJM said in a statement.
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.
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.
Recent scandals have rocked Silicon Valley and put the spotlight on sexual harassment and discrimination, while raising questions on what is considered acceptable behaviour of men and women. Cases of physical abuse is clear but many that go unreported may be spoken in nature or in text messages.
What do you if you frequently receive indecent messages from a higher figure of authority such as bosses, clients or investors? How do you deal with the abuser if he or she has been a sterling performer at the workplace? How do you respond if you are asked in a job interview if you are going to get pregnant? How do you deal with the consequences of filing a complaint? For instance, your colleagues may avoid interacting with you.
Join Animah Kosai, lawyer, advocate and corporate coach, as she explains what is considered harassment and discrimination, and strategies and legal ways to deal with it from an employee and employers’ viewpoint.
With the internet becoming an essential part of our daily lives, it is neither realistic nor sufficient to talk about sexual harassment in an offline context alone. The internet is now an easily available platform where harassers carry out their misdeeds. In this second of a five-part UndiMsia! Chats series on the issue of cyber harassment, our panel will talk about the changing nature of sexual harassment and whether the current law is sufficient to address online sexual harassment in Malaysia.
Joining us on the panel are YB Kasthuri Patto, MP of Batu Kawan, Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, Executive Director of Malaysian Employers Federation, Dr. Lai Suat Yan, Gender Studies Senior Lecturer from University of Malaya and Yu Ren Chung, Advocacy Manager from Women’s Aid Organisation. The panel will be moderated by Betty Yeoh of PeopleACT.
You are also strongly encouraged to attend the remaining three chats on the following issues:
Series #3 (5 Aug, 11am – 12.30pm) – Is the current law prohibiting obscene publications sufficient to tackle cyber harassment?
Series #4 (12 Aug, 11am – 12.30pm) – Is the current Penal Code sufficient in addressing threats of death and rape and other abusive communications made online?
Series #5 (19 Aug, 11am – 12.30pm) – Is the current law sufficient to deal with the offence of online breach of privacy?
PeopleACT is an UndiMsia! intiative. It is run by a group of human rights defenders from different non-profit organisations in Malaysia. Its mission is to make the cyber environment a safer, more respectful and empowering space for Malaysians through strategic legislative advocacy and public awareness campaign.
For more information, please visit mcchr.org/sla.
Source: The Malay Mail Online
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) is hosting a series of four gender equality talks in conjunction with the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
16 Days of Activism begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 25 November, and culminates on Human Rights Day, 10 December. Throughout the campaign, communities across the world take action to end violence against women and girls.
WAO Executive Director Sumitra Visvanathan will conduct the December 7th talk, entitled “Sexual Harassment at Work.”
The Federal Court recently undertook an exercise of judicial activism, introducing the tort of harassment – which includes sexual harassment – into our legal system. The landmark ruling has paved the way for sexual harassment victims to take civil action against perpetrators, where no cause of action existed before.
Was the court right in deciding this way? How did the law protect victims of sexual harassment prior to this case? What are the implications of the introduction of this new tort by the courts?
Join us for a conversation on this topic with lawyers Dato’ David Morais and Karyn Khoo, counsel for the respondent. We will dissect the case and learn more about the current situation in Malaysia.
Admission is free and open to all.
The Legal Lab series is brought to you by UndiMsia! and KPUM.
Istana Kehakiman / Palace of Justice ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
JUNE 02 — There is a need to introduce the tort of sexual harassment into our legal system, the Federal Court decided today.
This is despite there being no legislation in place to award damages for sexual harassment in the workplace.
The Federal Court ruled as such in dismissing the appeal by a former Tabung Haji Risk Management Department general manager on a claim of sexual harassment by a former staff.
“After mulling over the matter, we arrived at a decision to undertake some judicial activism exercise and decide that it is timely to import the tort of harassment in our legal and judicial system, with sexual harassment being part of it,” Federal Court judge Suriyadi Halim Omar, who wrote the landmark judgment, said. Read more