Archive for the ‘Gender Gap’ Category

219 cases of abuse against women reported this year

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Jannie

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 1,307 cases of violence against women have been recorded in Sabah between 2016 and October 2020.

Kapayan assemblywoman, Jannie Lasimbang said that between January and October this year alone, a total of 219 cases have been reported to the police.

Basing on the statistics which she derived from the Police Department, the trend seems to be rising.

A total of 218 cases were reported in 2016, followed by 242 cases in 2017, 319 cases in 2018 and 309 cases in 2019.

Jannie, who issued a statement in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which falls on Nov 25, said violence against women is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in the world today and remained largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.

She also said the date was selected to remember the three Marabel sisters who were political leaders brutally murdered by the government in the Dominican Republic in 1960.

Jannie urged that Sabah government, in the upcoming budget, to increase its programmes to reach out to more women, particularly the poor.

In her statement, Jannie acknowledged that the Community Development and Peoples Wellbeing Ministry had informed her that the ministry is carrying out awareness programmes on the rights of women, roadshows on the 1994 Domestic Violence Act and other family-related programmes under its Department of Welfare Services Sabah.

“Apart from that, its Women Affairs Department is providing legal aid services to women who qualify for it,” she said.

Jannie said that while this legal aid service is very important for women victims, as many were turned down due to funding limitation faced by the service.

“As a commitment to women, the government in the upcoming budget should increase this service to reach out to more women, especially those who are poor,” Jannie added.

She reminded that  since the Covid-19 outbreak, emerging reports have shown that many forms of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, have happened.

In some severe cases, violence may even result in death, she warned.

“Violence against women is also strongly associated with suicides and suicide attempts. This evidence is from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence against women.

“There are a growing number of well-designed studies looking at the effectiveness of prevention and response programmes,” she said.

In commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, many organisations has committed to a programme call 16 Day of Activism starting from 25 September until the 10 December, which is the United Nations Human Rights Day.

In 2019, Jannie said, the women’s wing of DAP Sabah successfully organized a Safety and Self-defence programme and the StopVAW fund-raising run.

“This year, we will collaborate with NGOs and communities to spread awareness through webinars, e-flyer campaigns on personal commitments, and a day of prayer and reflection for women facing violence during this pandemic.

“The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women should remind us our need to fight all forms of violence, abuse, and injustices women face, and to raise our voices to end violence against women,” she said.

BY JENNE LAJIUN.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/11/26/219-cases-of-abuse-against-women-reported-this-year/

Breaking the cycle of violence against women

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

PUTRAJAYA: THE Campaign on Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVAW) is celebrated all around the globe every year on Nov 25

Such an important day is not only celebrated, but driven with purpose and cause by the Department of Women Development (JPW), which is under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM).

This year, JPW has escalated the campaign by using the hashtags #MalaysiaPrihatin, #Kitajagakita and #Kitajagawanita on the department’s website as well as via all their social media channels and platforms to further create and spread awareness and advocacy on such a pertinent, pressing issue.

When met at her office here recently, JPW’s director-general Dr Zurina Abdul Hamid was unequivocal in stressing that her department and the ministry are committed, focused and determined in addressing the issue of violence against women in any form.

“We have celebrated this day right here in Malaysia for as long as I can remember, and apart from celebrating such a day, we commemorate and do justice by it by strongly advocating its true meaning and purpose, while also highlighting all the initiatives and efforts already in place or that are being implemented to address, combat and lower the rate and cases of violence against women, a lot of which sadly still go unreported in this modern day and age.

“Violence against women is not just the deplorable act of physical abuse, but also verbal and non-verbal abuse such as constant criticism, name calling and threats, visual harassment such as exposing one’s self and sending or sharing lewd materials and content, psychological abuse such as manipulation, control and humiliation, apart from human trafficking which involves a lot of women and children just to name a few,” she shared.

She revealed that the rate of abuse cases towards women has been on the rise, with Selangor (538) and Johor (355) being the two states in Peninsular Malaysia which recorded the highest number of abuse cases between January and August this year.

The number of cases for the same period in Sabah numbered 164 cases and 381 in Sarawak.

Dr Zurina Abdul HamidDirector-general, Department of Women DevelopmentDr Zurina Abdul HamidDirector-general, Department of Women Development

She also noted that the continued threat of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) were undoubtedly contributing factors in the unwanted rise.

“The implementation of the MCO earlier this year and the CMCO recently due to the pandemic which has limited the rakyat’s interaction and movement has somewhat contributed to the unwanted rise.

“Research and studies have shown that the implementation of the MCO and now CMCO has caused an increase in pressure and distress at home which has led to a rise in domestic abuse cases, and to make matters worse, the devastating effect of the spread of the virus on the economy has left thousands jobless almost overnight, and this too is a contributing factor.

“Selangor and Johor are also two states that are grappling with all sorts of social issues, and the geographical location as well as the pace of development in these two states also result in urban poverty and a high cost of living which just adds to the problem,” she admitted.

Zurina pointed out that many cases and instances of abuse and violence towards women go unreported because apart from the victims being naturally fearful and afraid, they are also shy and ashamed if it were to be reported to the authorities.

In quite a few cases they are also dependent on the abusers, who are the husbands, boyfriends and even fathers or step-fathers.

She reiterated that the EVAW campaign, along with a few other initiatives that are already in place, are there for a purpose, which is to help victims of abuse free themselves of oppression, enduring pain and suffering as well as the dangers that they face.

“The EVAW campaign is not something we celebrate or focus on just for this month, it is something that we work very hard on throughout the year. Apart from the police, we work together with and cooperate with many other government agencies and departments for this, such as the 24-hour ‘Talian Kasih’ hotline which was set up by our ministry as an initiative in providing psychological support, the One Stop Crisis Centres (OSCC) introduced by the Health Ministry in 1996 which are located in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) units of major public hospitals, as well as the five safe houses or shelter homes.

“We’ve also got counsellors who engage with victims via the phone and face to face which is done by appointment, as well as legal clinics which are carried out in each and every state from time to time so that women know that there are channels and avenues for help and support that are readily at their disposal, which are publicised via the media and on all of our social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” she said.

Zurina shared that women must muster the courage within to rise and defend themselves and fight for their rights when oppressed or abused, while warning that submissive behaviour and self- blame is very detrimental so much so it makes matters worse.

“As mentioned earlier, nowadays women have various channels and avenues in which to act and it starts by documenting what has happened, and then proceeding to report it to the authorities so that action can be taken and they can free themselves from the situation that they are in.

“All this will be very helpful and will enable justice to be served once an investigation commences and the case is heard and tried in a court of law,” she pointed out.

From a legal standpoint, Zurina explained that once passed, the proposed sexual harassment bill or act will be a welcome deterrent as it will allow for harsher punishments to be meted out for those who are found to be guilty, but because of the change in government earlier this year, it will have to be tabled once more for approval.

“Malaysians must understand that when it comes to raising awareness on eliminating violence against women, everyone must play their part and not just turn a blind eye, deaf ear or simply leave it to or depend on the government and the relevant authorities. It all starts from within each and every home and community where mindsets must change and everyone must chip in one way or another if we are to succeed in winning the battle over such a pertinent issue.

“So everyone must play their part, especially from the top such as leaders all the way to those at grassroots community level. When there are eyes and ears in a community, then such violence can not only be detected but reported so that the appropriate, affirmative action can be taken if positive, impactful changes are to happen,” stressed Zurina.

Quote: Violence against women is not just the deplorable act of physical abuse, but also verbal and non-verbal abuse such as constant criticism, name calling and threats, visual harassment such as exposing one’s self and sending or sharing lewd materials and content, psychological abuse such as manipulation, control and humiliation.

By Azdee Amir.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/11/644423/breaking-cycle-violence-against-women

Empowering more women in the workplace with top posts

Saturday, October 31st, 2020
Women are increasing in numbers in universities but they find it tougher to climb to top positions after working. FILE PICWomen are increasing in numbers in universities but they find it tougher to climb to top positions after working. FILE PIC

LETTERS: The term “glass ceiling” is a metaphor that illustrates the impediment to the growth and advancement of women in occupying main leadership or policymaking positions. Studies show that there is still an intangible obstacle that hinder women from moving to higher positions.

Some assume that the phrase glass ceiling is no longer relevant today because women in Malaysia have generally succeeded in participating in the job market, and that the working trend of the future is about to see women’s domination in the vocational world.

Statistics also show that the number of women at schools and universities is on the rise, and that they have higher achievements.

Nonetheless, when they enter the working world, whether they like it or not, they need to admit that there is a glass ceiling in several stages of an organisation.

This raises the question: will women succeed in breaking the glass ceiling that has stood in the way of their career growth? Reality has it that a few of them have successfully penetrated the ceiling. The real challenges begin after one breaks the glass ceiling.

The roles and responsibilities that are expected of women also influence their ability to overcome this obstacle. How can we say that women are able to break the glass ceiling when only a few of them assume the positions of company chairmen, chief executive officers and other high positions in the public and corporate sectors?

Despite the fact that women have had the same career path and requirements for promotion as their male counterparts, they seem to be unable to surpass the higher levels of their career. Women in Malaysia are more prominent in the middle-management level, although normally, behind a chief executive officer, there is a woman who always works hard and demonstrates extraordinary abilities.

Is this glass ceiling phenomenon healthy? From the perspective of talent and human resources management, this should not happen. The innate talent and qualifications should be tapped into and equal opportunities should be established.

If a glass ceiling exists in an organisation, it would be a loss if hidden talents are not maximised. The question is, does the phenomenon really exist in the organisation? It is a fact that there are elements of discrimination and biasness where qualified individuals are oppressed or held back, regardless of gender or race.

This constraint is normally neither obvious nor documented, where there exists unfair attitude, behaviour or approach on the part of the organisation, that hinders qualified individuals from advancing further in the management hierarchy.

Women are no longer the permanent figure in the kitchen, but they have increasingly become the mainstay of the country’s development and growth. Their credibility can no longer be underestimated as they can stand as tall, and walk as fast, as men.

Men should not procrastinate any longer. They should leave behind the perception that women have less to show in taking over senior positions.

Men and women should create a healthy competition to endorse each and everyone’s respective talents and qualifications.

by Dr Zafir Khan Mohamed Makhbul.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/10/636758/empowering-more-women-workplace-top-posts

No women made full minister in GRS govt

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Julita (left) and Flovia during the swearing in ceremony at Istana Negeri, yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah government has failed to appoint even a single female full minister in its cabinet.

Two elected assemblywomen Datuk Julita Mojungki (Matunggong) and Flovia Ng (Tulid) were appointed as assistant ministers.

Both of them were placed under the same portfolio, Ministry of Community Development and People’s Well-being.

Former political secretary to Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Masidi Manjun – Datuk Amisah Yassin was announced as appointed assemblywoman.

Amisah was absent at the  swearing-in ceremony at Istana Negeri, yesterday.

Julita, who is a two-term assemblywoman for Matunggong was the political secretary to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister from 2008 to 2012.

She was also the political secretary to the Minister in the Prime Minister Department from 2004 to 2008.

In politics, Julita is Matunggong PBS divisional chief since 2018 to present, and also a PBS committee member.

Flovia, who recently won the Tulid state seat under STAR ticket is Sook’s women divisional chief.

Meanwhile, Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO) and Rakyat Is Bos urged Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor to appoint the six women “best losers” in the recent Sabah State Election as the nominated members of the Legislative Assembly of Sabah (DUN).

:The results of the 16th Sabah State Election revealed that only seven women  candidates won in their respective constituency and that makes up less than 10% of the assemblypersons (ADUNs) to be women.

:This percentage is a far cry from reaching at least 30% women participation in decision-making positions as targeted by the Malaysian  government in the Ninth Malaysia Plan 2006-2010.

“There was not even a single woman appointed in the first round of ministerial selection, let alone a woman deputy chief minister,” they said in a statement yesterday.

SAWO and Rakyat Is Bos stressed that gender inclusion is an integral part of Sabah’s  identity as a liberal and inclusive society.

“Sadly, all major coalitions and parties,  Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN), PBS and Warisan Plus had failed to  uphold Sabah’s liberal nature by nominating at least 30% of women candidates.

“As a progressive democratic state, they said the DUN should comprise people from the  marginalised groups to ensure inclusivity in policy and legislative decisions that will  affect the lives of all Sabahans.

After the nomination which saw only 43 women out of 447 candidates, SAWO and  Rakyat Is Bos had made a widely-reported and well-received suggestion on
September 19 for all the six nominated seats to be filled with women if less than 18  women are elected as assemblypersons to close the gap from the international benchmark of 30%.

SAWO and Rakyat is Bos called upon PN, BN, PBS and Warisan Plus to make it a  Sabah cross-party consensus that nominated Seats would be reserved for the best
women candidates who lost if women percentage in the DUN falls below 30%.

They said all six of the best women candidates who lost are  influential women who won more than 30% of the total valid votes cast.

“Appointing them is also empowering voters who trusted these women candidates to represent them and the issues of their community,” they said.

Percentage of votes for the best women candidates who lost in their respective constituencies are as follows:

N.70 Kukusan – Chaya binti Sulaiman 42.38;

N.52 Sungai Sibuga – Armani binti Mahiruddin 41.95;

N.53 Sekong – Hazulizah Mohd Dani 40.24;

N.67 Balung – Andi Rus Diana bt Andi Paladjareng 37.19;

N.04 Tanjung Kapor – Norlizah binti Gurahman 36.85;

N.48 Sugut – Norsabrina binti  Japar 35.52.

SAWO and Rakyat Is Bos also rejected the nomination of individuals who did not  contest in the election.

“As a democratic state, we are repulsed by the nomination of people who are given the seat as a token instead of their true contribution to society  especially individuals from parties that did not even run in the election,” they said.

BY MARIAH DOKSIL.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/10/09/no-women-made-full-minister-in-grs-govt/

Protect and empower women for the betterment of our country

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020
The public and private sector should help women who lost their jobs to regain their financial footing for a better future. -NSTP/file picThe public and private sector should help women who lost their jobs to regain their financial footing for a better future. -NSTP/file pic

LETTER: While Covid-19 affects all of us regardless of nationality, gender or age, women are adversely affected more in terms of economic, education, health and gender parity than men.

According to research by the World Economic Forum, it is estimated that women make up 70 per cent of all health and social services staff globally.

In April, the Malaysian Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) stated that during the Movement Control Order, they noticed an increase of 14 per cent of reports regarding domestic violence involving women. This data is inconclusive as many women suffer silently since they do not know where to seek help or are too afraid to do so.

Women make up almost half of Malaysia’s population. The problem they face must be considered as a problem faced by all of us. We need to address the issues that are affecting women immediately.

In one of the webinar series hosted by the World Humanitarian Forum titled “Challenging Gender Inequality”, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this was the right time for everyone to look at women and their development as a solution to improve the livelihoods of all. This includes providing space and growth opportunities for women in the country.

United States of America Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Madam Melanne Verveer agreed with the statement and said women should be given platforms to elevate and empower their country and, in the process, will help themselves as an individual.

As a nation, we also need to understand that economically, women are more vulnerable than men as their personal finances are weaker and their part in the labour market is less secure, thus making it difficult for women, especially single mothers or daughters who have to take care of their ageing parents and/or disabled family members, to bounce back during hard times.

The government needs to look into this matter seriously and act swiftly. Policies or provisions should be made to protect and empower our women so that they can have the opportunity to make a comeback economically and secure their economic standing.

Corporations, companies and employers should also play their part by making sure that our women who lost their jobs will be given the opportunity to work again in all sectors suitable with their skills and qualifications.

Seeking a solution through gender perspectives in turn will secure our nation’s overall economic standing, as it can contribute to nation building and enhance Malaysia’s gross development product with the mass involvement of women in all sectors of development.

A caring society should always be aware and respond to the plight of women, whether it is regarding their financial issues or safety. Everyone must be ready to lend a hand to women in their time of need. Only then can we truly develop an advanced and caring society where men and women are able to embrace the shared prosperity vision that is the agenda of our country.

by AHMAD SOFFIAN MOHD SHARIFF.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/10/630180/protect-and-empower-women-betterment-our-country

Domestic violence: Safe Community Initiative launched in Kajang

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
Selangor Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family executive councillor Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (third from left) said the public and various agencies must play their roles to address the problem of domestic violence. -  NSTP/KHAIRUL AZHAR AHMAD.Selangor Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family executive councillor Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud (third from left) said the public and various agencies must play their roles to address the problem of domestic violence. – NSTP/KHAIRUL AZHAR AHMAD.

KAJANG: The Integrated Safe Community Initiative, a project spearheaded by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), has added Kajang to its list of districts to tackle the problem of domestic violence.

The initiative, launched in Oct 2019, had previously covered four districts, namely Kuala Selangor, Klang, Hulu Selangor and Petaling.

The project, which is supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Malaysia, aims to create an integrated approach involving various agencies towards building safe communities that are free from gender-based violence.

The efforts include establishing One Stop Crisis Centres (OSCC), handled by various agencies, to help survivors of domestic and child abuse.

WAO executive director Sumitra Visvanathan said more than 800,000 women who are with their partners in Malaysia have or are currently experiencing domestic violence.

She said the number of police reports on gender-based violence such as abuse, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and more have reached worrying rates.

“During the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, WAO recorded a 138 per cent increase in calls to its hotline.

“Because of this, there is a need to protect women and children from becoming victims of violence. WAO is aware of this situation and will take proactive measures to tackle this problem,” she said at the launch today.

Meanwhile, Selangor Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family executive councillor Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, who launched the event, said the public and various agencies must play their roles to address the problem of domestic violence.

She said WAO’s and Institut Wanita Berdaya’s (IWB) Aug 2019 research showed that there is a lack of suitable shelters provided for survivors of domestic abuse in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

“On Nov 21, 2019, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry (KPWKM) said Selangor has the highest reported cases of domestic violence nationwide.

“Selangor comprised 27 per cent of the overall domestic violence cases reported to the Social Welfare Department from January until June 2019.

“The main focus of the state government is to ensure the safety and needs of women and children in all districts,” she said.

By Safwah Abdul Razak.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/09/628289/domestic-violence-safe-community-initiative-launched-kajang

Helping women entrepreneurs get onto the digital platform

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
NAWEM president Sarojini Ruth (left) and Saito deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Vinitha Guptan (right) signing a memorandum of understanding, witnessed by HRDF R&D head Rony Ambrose Gobilee recently. -- Pix courtesy of NAWEMNAWEM president Sarojini Ruth (left) and Saito deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Vinitha Guptan (right) signing a memorandum of understanding, witnessed by HRDF R&D head Rony Ambrose Gobilee recently. — Pix courtesy of NAWEM

PETALING JAYA: With the Covid-10 pandemic affecting businesses, the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia (NAWEM) hopes to help women get onto the digital platform through Tech4her.

NAWEM president Sarojini Ruth said the pandemic has brought the digital platform to the forefront as many felt more at ease shopping from home.

“Through the Tech4her programme, we aim to empower women. Apart from using technology, we will also impart expertise and knowledge to this group,” she said.

Besides providing selected women entrepreneurs with coaching and mentoring guidance, the programme will also emphasise the need to collaborate, network and create links with each other as well other entities such as government agencies, crowd funders, business groups and NGOs.

Tech4Her@NAWEM is implemented by NAWEM in partnership with The Asia Foundation (TAF) and the Saito University College.

Saito deputy vice-chancellor Professor Dr Vinitha Guptan said the entrepreneurs would have to undergo a 10-month course, supervised and monitored by the university college’s experts.

Among the entrepreneurs are the owners of a spa centre, health centre, pharmacists and food operators.

Amber Chia joins Commonwealth campaign rejecting domestic, sexual violence

Monday, September 14th, 2020
Malaysian model, Amber China, has joined leaders and celebrities from across the Commonwealth for the first-of-its-kind 'Commonwealth Says NO MORE' campaign against domestic and sexual violence. - NSTP/MUSTAFFA KAMALMalaysian model, Amber Chia, has joined leaders and celebrities from across the Commonwealth for the first-of-its-kind ‘Commonwealth Says NO MORE’ campaign against domestic and sexual violence. – NSTP/MUSTAFFA KAMAL

LETTER: Malaysian model, Amber China, has joined leaders and celebrities from across the Commonwealth for the first-of-its-kind ‘Commonwealth Says NO MORE’ campaign against domestic and sexual violence.

Amber said: “Violence against women and girls is a pandemic that destroys lives, economies and communities. For too long our society has not done nearly enough. And today I’m here to say no more excuses. Please join me in taking the pledge through the Commonwealth Says No More campaign.”

The Commonwealth Secretariat and NO MORE Foundation launched the campaign designed to help tackle the immediate crisis of the rapid increase in domestic and sexual violence due to the impacts of Covid-19, while also providing support for governments, organisations and individuals to confront this issue through longer-term prevention strategies and support.

The launch was held at a special virtual event attended by representatives and advocates from across the Commonwealth and representing nearly one-third of the world’s population.

At the event, the partners unveiled the first pan-Commonwealth digital portal designed to support governments and civil society in identifying and implementing joint solutions while also providing individuals with concrete actions they can take to support both the campaign and those affected by domestic violence.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, speaking at the launch of the portal, said: “It is indisputable that while the virus will pass one day, for many women, the ever-present threat of violence will remain.

The new ‘Commonwealth Says NO MORE’ campaign is launched at a time when organisations across the globe have seen calls to hotlines for victims of abuse and demand for support services rise from between 25 and 300 per cent during COVID-19 lockdowns. Even before the pandemic, one in three women across the world are beaten or sexually abused within their lifetime, making it a leading cause of death in woman and girls.

The digital portal provides easy-to-use tools and resources to help governments and community-based organisations strengthen their efforts to support victims of domestic and sexual violence and those at risk, and train communities in a culturally sensitive manner.

In addition, it also provides help to those affected by violence to understand and recognise violence and gives them one-stop access to information such as local hotlines, safety plans and legal guidance – a critical service for victims in places where such support is either not available online or is disrupted by the pandemic.

The portal will also feature guidelines to help citizens intervene when they witness violence, and offers good practice guides for preventing abuse, delivering services and protecting survivors.

As part of the initiative, leaders, celebrities and individuals globally are taking the ‘Commonwealth Says NO MORE’ pledge towards ending domestic and sexual violence. Ahead of the launch, many shared video messages endorsing the effort and encouraging other people across the 54 Commonwealth countries to get involved.

Among them are Kiribati President Taneti Maamau; Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor-General, Sir Rodney Williams; New Zealand’s former Prime Minister, Helen Clark; British singer and Royal Commonwealth Society’s Ambassador, Geri Horner; UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed; Indian actress and advocate for women’s rights, Shabana Azmi; Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan; Ghanaian actress, Joselyn Dumas; British actor, Colin Salmon and Australia actor, Ryan Johnson.

by COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/09/624336/amber-chia-joins-commonwealth-campaign-rejecting-domestic-sexual

Legal avenues for sexual harassment victims

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020
A threat to cause harm to the victim can be considered a tort of assault, so long as the threat of harm is imminent, such as the words or gestures of a sexual nature without bodily contact. NSTP File picA threat to cause harm to the victim can be considered a tort of assault, so long as the threat of harm is imminent, such as the words or gestures of a sexual nature without bodily contact. NSTP File pic

Letters: Sexual harassment is a serious offence as it violates a person’s honour and dignity guaranteed by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution.

The workplace should be free from sexual harassment, such as degrading words or pictures (like graffiti, photos or posters), physical contact of any kind and sexual demands.

Victims of sexual harassment may file a tort suit against the harasser in the civil court for assault and battery. If the victim was threatened with physical sexual abuse or has been assaulted, an assault claim could be maintained.

A threat to cause harm to the victim can be considered a tort of assault, so long as the threat of harm is imminent, such as the words or gestures of a sexual nature without bodily contact.

Sexual battery claim may be valid if it involves physical touching or intentional infliction of unlawful force on another person.

The outrageous conduct of the perpetrator may also entail a claim for mental distress damages.

The victim may consider filing a vicarious liability suit against the employer or the government for the sexual harassment committed by a co-worker or their customers provided that the sexual harassment was committed within the course of employment.

Litigation against the employer is founded on the basis of failure to use reasonable care to protect its workers against foreseeable sexual assault.

To successfully maintain a vicarious liability claim, for example, against the employer, the victim must prove that there was an employee and employer relationship between the parties and that the act was done in the course of employment.

For sexual harassment to be considered committed in the course of employment, it must either be authorised or be so connected with an authorised act that it can be considered a mode, though an improper way, of performing the said act.

Where the claim is well-founded, the court may award damages for the physical and emotional harm suffered by the victim.

The above civil claims are in the alternative to other available remedies to the victim, such as lodging a police report pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Code for various sexual offences under the Penal Code, as well as resigning from employment and thereafter alleging constructive dismissal.

by Dr Ashgar Ali Ali Mohamed.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2020/07/610188/legal-avenues-sexual-harassment-victims

Nation of Women launches JB wing

Sunday, July 12th, 2020
Members of Now Malaysia at the official launch in JohorMembers of Now Malaysia at the official launch in Johor

JOHOR BARU: Nation of Women (Now) Malaysia recently launched its Johor wing after completing a tour of northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Now Malaysia was set up to empower local women to become independent, entrepreneurial and self-sustaining, especially during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

“This is a new organisation, but has received membership of more than 30,000 women within a few months,” said Now Malaysia president Hajah Haniza Talha at the launch event.

“With a composition of professionals and women from other walks of life, Now is open to all races to assist Malaysian women to excel and prosper. We hope more will join us”, she added.

Now Malaysia will meet its members in Melaka and Negri Sembilan next, followed by visits to the east coast.

“I strongly believe that Now has the right formula and is timely to assist women to face issues, minimise hardship, and handle difficulties effectively with the support as well as guidance of fellow members,” said Pagoh Now chief Suhaila Hashim.

Haniza (right) and Suhaila all smiles after the launch in Johor

Haniza (right) and Suhaila all smiles after the launch in Johor

Now also presented aid to 10 needy recipients during the event, which was also attended by Batu Pahat Member of Parliament Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, who is also Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

By Zainal Aziz.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/07/607949/nation-women-launches-jb-wing