Quiet celebration for Women’s Day

Fatimah (centre) looking through the details of the state-level Women’s Day celebration with her ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Saadiah Abdul Samat (left) and Women and Family Department director Noriah Ahmad.

KUCHING: The state-level Women’s Day celebration this year will be a scaled-down affair in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, says state Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said the event would be limited to 250 guests instead of several thousand people in attendance as in the past.

“The Women’s Day celebration will be different this year because we are still in the recovery phase of the movement control order (MCO).

“We need to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) and physical distancing in the new norm, ” she said at Wisma Wanita here.

Nevertheless, Fatimah said the event at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Aug 29 would be streamed live, with 100 women to be invited to watch it at Wisma Wanita.

She said the livestream would also be made available to watch at district level.

“This can be organised in a longhouse or wherever the Internet connection is good. There will be an opportunity for the women watching from the districts to have a live conversation with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, our guest of honour, on the day, ” she said.

Fatimah said this was in line with the celebration’s theme, “Sarawak Women in the Digital Era”, to recognise the role and contribution of women in the digital economy.

In fact, she added that the pandemic has provided an opportunity for women to learn new digital skills such as online entrepreneurship and hold meetings on digital platforms.

“For instance, some women lost their source of income due to Covid-19 but were able to learn how to capitalise on digital platforms to sell food and other products.

“This is why the focus this year is on women in the digital era. We want to show that women in Sarawak are not left behind but are keen to learn and participate in the digital economy, ” she said.

Six awards will be presented during the event to recognise outstanding women, including the top accolade of the Datuk Patinggi Laila Taib award.

The others are the Women Social Activist Award, Women Entrepreneur Award, Women Leadership Award, Special Achievement (Digital) Award and Outstanding Women NGO Award.

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