Malaysia: Can Muslim women walk tall again?
Celebrations for International Women’s Day on March 8 and the days leading up to it were as diverse as Malaysian women themselves. There were concerts, dinner theatre shows, workshops, readings and, if you had followed Sisters in Islam (SIS) and the Musawah Young Women’s Caucus, a pleasant stroll through Taman Jaya. But the placards carried by the women participating in the SIS and Musawah event indicated that it’s no walk in the park for these two organisations in their work to improve the lot of Muslim women. “One Husband = One Wife”, “No Religion Condones Violence”, “Women’s Rights = Human Rights”, said the signs the women carried on their chests and backs and across their arms.
SIS board member Marina Mahathir, whose sign read “Nafkah Anak Adalah Hak Asasi Anak” (Child Support is a Child’s Fundamental Right), said much remained to be done although women had access to education and jobs.
The silence on amendments to the IFL and the LRA is a regrettable indication that despite the events lined up for International Women’s Day this year, issues affecting women that are seen as contentious remain low on the list of priorities.
March 9, 2011