In line with the overarching theme of ‘Malaysia of Tomorrow : Equality and Reform’, the focus of the Advocacy Department for Quarter 1 would be to advocate for closing the gap that exists in terms of gender equality. This is a continuing effort from what was initiated by the previous directorates during the first quarter of the 2019/2020 term which is ‘Women in Leadership and Politics’ but our team will be addressing gender gap in a broader sense.
This is a recurring initiative because in spite of the measures taken, we are still far behind in our goal towards equality. Hence, this necessitates a constant reminder to society as to what we lack and how we can move forward in ensuring this aspirations turns into reality in the long term. Essentially, we are trying to keep the conversation going for as long as it takes to get where we need to. This campaign will run from 1st January 2021 until 28th February 2021. This campaign’s focal point will be the three prevailing issues/topics detailed below:
There has been a pressing need to amend such malicious and regressive legislations that enables husbands to sexually assault/rape their wives without any repercussions. Imagine the implications of such laws especially if it is a child bride involved in such a partnership further necessitating criminilisation of marital rape as children as of right should receive protection against rape. This is an issue in Malaysia because the legal system enables minors to be married off at a minimum age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys. Discrimination is also evident in the minimum age set by the law.
Gender Pay Gap - According to statistics, the pay gap between genders would seem not so significant to a reasonable man at a median value of RM115. However, if one is to take a closer look at the issue at hand by taking into consideration the qualification held by these said people, it was evidently clear that on average, women have greater educational attainment in Malaysia. According to the world bank estimates, given the differences in education, men should technically earn on average 13.8% less than women and not the other way round hence this begs the million dollar question of what went wrong that we defied the numbers. This initiative would attempt to tackle the root issue behind this unacknowledged but very significant gender pay gap.
A Series on Inspirational Women Nationwide - The idea behind this initiative is to bring to light and give proper value to women’s work within Malaysia not restricted to politicians and Philanthropists but also influential leaders in other more unconventional sectors such as Education, Entertainment, Food Service, Beauty as well as the more conventional ones such as Health, Legal, Business Sector. There is a substantial lack of this awareness which if relayed, could potentially be the driving force behind the aspirations of young girls across Malaysia. This will be a series of articles that also focuses on the journeys of successful/inspirational/influential women leaders in various industries private or public, of sieving through a male dominated culture or unequal treatment at workplace; focusing on but not limited to the private sector (as a lot of awareness has already been spread for public figures such as female politicians).
January: Focusing on The Legality of Marital Rape and Child Marriages
February: Focusing on Gender Pay Gap + Inspirational Women Nationwide Series (collaboration with the Women’s Network)
Check out our Instagram post for this initiative!