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Opinion

Keep Gender Equality Front And Centre – JAG

JAG urges the government to appoint someone with a strong track record of championing the welfare of women and children as the Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development.

Anwar Ibrahim sworn in as Malaysia's 10th Prime Minister at Istana Negara on November 24, 2022. Photo by Sadiq Asyraf.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) would like to congratulate Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his appointment as the tenth Prime Minister of Malaysia. 

As we await with anticipation the appointment of the cabinet, we urge the government to appoint a credible and capable Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development. 

The candidate should have a strong track record of championing the welfare of women and children, with a right’s based focus. 

Women in Malaysia still face many obstacles to gender equality. According to the Department of Statistics, women are paid less for the same work. 

The lack of childcare facilities also hampers their participation in the workforce, leading to a low female labour participation rate.

Survivors of gender based violence also still face barriers accessing justice. 

JAG therefore urges the Prime Minister to hold fast to the manifesto pledges for improving the status of women and children in this country, including gazetting the Anti-Sexual Harassment law, which was passed in July 2022. 

The government must also keep to its commitment in the election manifesto to enable Malaysian women to pass on citizenship to their overseas born children. 

The new government must comply with international obligations to gender equality and non-discrimination, and usher in an era of protection and empowerment for all women and children in Malaysia. 

Endorsed by the following JAG member organisations:

  1. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
  2. Empower
  3. Association of Women Lawyers
  4. Perak Women for Women Society
  5. KRYSS Network 
  6. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
  7. Women’s Centre for Change (WCC)
  8. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  9. Justice for Sisters
  10.  Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS)
  11. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
  12. Persatuan Kebajikan Sokongan Keluarga Selangor dan KL (Family Frontiers)
  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Ova.

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