Empower women and children, Anwar

Congratulating Anwar on his appointment, women's groups in Malaysia urge him to prioritise women and children and elected a capable minister to lead the Women's Ministry. - Starpic

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has urged the new government to commit to its manifesto and promise to empower women and children in Malaysia. In a statement released on Friday, the group congratulated Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his appointment as the country's 10th Prime Minister and urged him to select "a credible and capable Women, Family, and Community Development Minister" who can champion the welfare of women and children.

"Women in Malaysia still face many obstacles to gender equality. According to the Department of Statistics (DOSM), 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 force participation rate. Survivors of gender-based violence also still face barriers accessing justice," the group said in its statement.

JAG urged Anwar to keep to the coalition's manifesto pledges to improve the status of women and children, 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," it said.

JAG is a coalition of 14 women’s rights organisations in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak that advocate for gender equality and social justice in Malaysia within a feminist framework and uphold international human rights standards in promoting justice, equality, and non-discrimination.

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