Studies show that after years of advocacy, women are still underrepresented in decision-making positions.
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Today, Malaysia, as well as various countries worldwide, commemorate International Women’s Day; also known by its acronym IWD.
This date recognizes the achievements and rights achieved by and for women over the years.
International Women’s Day celebrations have been championed in Malaysia since the 70s and years later, our fight still continues with an increase in challenges that continue to impact marginalised women.
Joining in on the push for equality and commemorating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women are the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM).
With this year’s focus on #EmbraceEquity combined with the spirit of Malaysia MADANI, we hope the Unity Government takes substantial matters in its plight to ensure all women in our nation are protected.All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
According to AWAM, this year’s theme, reminds us of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and calls on all of us to embrace a future where every member of society is treated equally and equitably.
Based on a report released in 2022 by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, women only received RM96.21 in wages for every RM100 a man makes.
The report also noted that 62.2% from 8,252 reported cases of violence against women were domestic violence.
In terms of political participation, according to the Gender Inequality Index (GII), neighbouring countries like Vietnam have 30.3% of women representation in Parliament yet here in Malaysia only 14.9% of elected Parliamentarians were women.All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
Further findings suggest a larger number of our population are still earning below the recommended living wage of RM2968.
It is shocking that after years of advocacy, women are still underrepresented in decision-making positions, face unequal pay and discrimination in the workplace, and are often subjected to violence and harassment in public and private spaces. Thus, AWAM believes that gender equity is crucial in achieving gender justice.All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
AWAM also noted that through equity, it is recognisable that people have different needs, and therefore, treating everyone the same does not result in fairness.
Gender equity ensures that women have the same opportunities and access to resources as men, enabling them to reach their full potential.All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
In order to achieve gender equity, AWAM calls for the following actions:
● Accelerating the implementation of the Tribunal for Anti-Sexual Harassment
● Addressing gender-based violence and discrimination in all its forms, including sexual harassment and assault, domestic violence, and trafficking.
● Acknowledging the alarming drop of female representation in the Dewan Rakyat to ensure equal women’s participation in decision-making processes and political representation.
● Eliminating gender pay gap and providing equal opportunities and access to resources for all genders.
● Fostering a safe and inclusive environment for women and girls in all public and private spaces.
● Increase minimum wage closer to the living wage allowing a direct impact to the economic status of women in the country.
They also urged individuals, organisations, and all political parties to #EmbraceEquity and work towards a society that values and upholds gender equity and justice by ensuring that women have substantive access to equal opportunities across the board.
We specifically urge the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to expedite the process of setting up the Tribunal for Anti-Sexual Harassment as further delays will only impact women and should not be tolerated. We also acknowledge that there is still a long way to go in achieving true gender equity, both in our local communities and around the world but that will not hinder our continued struggle for women’s rights.All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)